Company profile and trading history
m-hance provides innovative business software solutions to 2400 mid-market sized organisations including Terra Firma Capital Management, Hatfield Philips International, GHF Financials, Ceridian UK, Washington Trust Bancorp Inc, United Nations Federal Credit Union, and Endsleigh Insurance. m-hance is currently supported by 230 staff from offices in Manchester, London, Loughborough, Dublin, Glasgow and the United States. m-hance also has offshore development capabilities in India which it will be investing heavily in to further increase its range of intellectual property (IP) solutions.
m-hance was formed in November 2011 and subsequently rebranded following the acquisitions of Calyx Software, Trinity Computer Services, Touchstone Group and sub-divisions of Maxima Holdings plc. These acquisitions, along with the company’s organic growth have helped sales grow 45% a year, from £3.1m in 2008 to £9.6m in 2011. m-hance’s 2012 forecast is £22.2m.
Mark Thompson, CEO of m-hance, comments “We saw a real opportunity to lead consolidation in the market place and offer a broader range of services to customers as a result. We needed to get to the size we are to give ourselves critical mass to bring new products and services to market quickly and efficiently, and next year we will hit £25m revenues and £5m EBITDA. This is a space where you can double or treble your size quite easily, and there is no doubt there will be more consolidation.”
In September 2012, m-hance was listed in The Sunday Times’ Hiscox Tech Track 100 for the first time alongside companies such as Lycamobile and MusicMagpie. m-hance was one of only three software providers to have made the prestigious list which recognises the fastest growing private technology, media and telecoms companies in the UK.
Core solutions and services
m-hance’s core solutions offering consists of financial management, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), purchasing management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM),enterprise social networking, SharePoint, business intelligence, document management and managed services in addition to software development services. The company has amassed over thirty years’ experience of operating in a variety of vertical markets including financial services, distribution, manufacturing, not-for-profit and infrastructure.
m-hance provides tried and tested financial accounting solutions which are highly scalable and functionality rich in order to address the needs of mid-market sized financial services organisations. Its world class ERP technology incorporates financial management and accounting, business intelligence (BI) analytics/reporting, project management, inventory, sales order processing, purchasing, CRM, e-commerce, human resource management and online business services.
These systems are scalable solutions that can be installed out-of-the-box and/or as a cloud based service for start-up and small organisations that wish to simply get on the road to better financial management. For those larger or more established organisations that wish to upgrade, replace or expand their existing ERP / financial management capabilities – m-hance offers the perfect combination of core financial accounting functionality combined with proprietary advanced modules to deliver tried and tested vertical market specific solutions, on premise or as a managed or hosted service.
m-hance Purchase Management is a flexible, end-to-end solution that enables organisations to gain visibility and insight into their spend, reduce maverick buying and increase the efficiency of the whole purchasing process. Purchase Management seamlessly integrates into m-hance’s core financial accounting solutions and incorporates three core business process tools into one integrated and tailored system for:
• Requisition entry and approval
• Goods / transactions acknowledgement and receipt
• Invoice approvals
m-hance is able to deliver a fast, flexible, and affordable CRM solution that drives consistent, measurable improvements in every business process, enabling closer relationships with stakeholders and helping to achieve new levels of return. With hosted and SAAS options, organisations can take advantage of the same powerful CRM software delivered as a cloud service, enabling instant-on anywhere access, predictable pay as you go pricing, and financially backed service level agreements (SLA).
• Familiar CRM software that empowers people through natural, productive, and insightful experiences
• Intelligent real-time analytics and streamlined business processes that enable CRM-informed decisions and operational efficiencies
• More effective connections across people, processes, and ecosystems that allow businesses to maximise the value of relationships
m-hance has over 12 years’ experience of delivering Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions – and with a proven track record of client and project success.
m-hance is able to provide a range of business intelligence solutions based on expert analysis and extensive experience with the best business systems. This expertise covers everything from the automation and distribution of simple standard reports to more complex bespoke big data queries and dashboards. These options can be offered against a wide range of systems including those covering Finance, CRM and HR and Payroll.
Document Management and SharePoint
m-hance provides a comprehensive range of complementary solutions for organisations that require an integrated and flexible business infrastructure with the scalability, reliability, and manageability that agile businesses need to remain competitive today.
These solutions cover areas such as:
• Collaborative enterprise information
• Intranet portals based on the latest SharePoint technology
• Document management
• Workflow automation
• Application integration
Embracing enterprise social networking and mobile technologies of the future
m-hance is investing heavily in cloud, mobile and enterprise social networking solutions (ESN) to deliver further efficiency and productivity benefits for its customers. m-hance Social Business (mSB) is an internal collaboration tool that combines the best parts of social user interaction situated within a business context to improve productivity and information exchange, increase staff engagement and reduce costs.
The spirit of collaboration can certainly be found at m-hance, not least because the business grew out of the acquisition of several different software businesses a year ago. Mark Thompson, CEO of m-hance, explains:
“We know all about collaboration here because we’ve had the experience of bringing together seven different business cultures. Whenever you bring businesses together the key thing to getting value is integrating as quickly as you can. Our own system enables people to exchange information on a regular basis. Staff can be connected 24/7 online and can be constantly coming up with suggestions about how to improve productivity. It is all about engaging employees to bring together all parts of an organization, thus unifying a business.”
m-hance Social Business is available on-premise via a private cloud model, and provides secure and seamless out-of-the-box connectivity in real-time to SQL-based solutions such as accounting and CRM. mSB can also be supplied with mobile handsets, tablet devices and airtime all under one roof as part of its one-stop-shop mobile offering.
Thompson says one of the issues for the wider ESN space is that so many services are free and don’t come with any consulting options. “These services might be free but they are leaving the company to then decide exactly what it wants to do with the service which may be of little use. Implementations tend to be haphazard rather than being driven by a genuine business need leading to poor adoption and failure. You need the expertise and intelligence that goes with the product and businesses need to accept that that comes with a cost.”
mSB can be deployed in just two weeks which includes on-site training, making it incredibly cost effective compared to other ESN solutions on the market. m-hance’s unique consultative approach also ensures that it works side-by-side with its customers to tailor mSB in line with their business needs, by clearly defining benchmarks for measurable success both before, during and after implementation.
Exclusive: China’s Huawei, reeling from U.S. sanctions, plans foray into EVs – sources
By Julie Zhu and Yilei Sun
HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Huawei plans to make electric vehicles under its own brand and could launch some models this year, four sources said, as the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, battered by U.S. sanctions, explores a strategic shift.
Huawei Technologies Co Ltd is in talks with state-owned Changan Automobile and other automakers to use their car plants to make its electric vehicles (EVs), according to two of the people familiar with the matter.
Huawei is also in discussions with Beijing-backed BAIC Group’s BluePark New Energy Technology to manufacture its EVs, said one of the two and a separate person with direct knowledge of the matter.
The plan heralds a potentially major shift in direction for Huawei after nearly two-years of U.S. sanctions that have cut its access to key supply chains, forcing it to sell a part of its smartphone business to keep the brand alive.
Huawei was placed on a trade blacklist by the Trump administration over national security concerns. Many industry executives see little chance that blocks on the sale of billions of dollars of U.S. technology and chips to the Chinese company, which has denied wrongdoing, will be reversed by his successor.
A Huawei spokesman denied the company plans to design EVs or produce Huawei branded vehicles.
“Huawei is not a car manufacturer. However through ICT (information and communications technology), we aim to be a digital car-oriented and new-added components provider, enabling car OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to build better vehicles.”
Huawei has started internally designing the EVs and approaching suppliers at home, with the aim of officially launching the project as early as this year, three of the sources said.
Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business group who led the company to become one of the world’s largest smartphone makers, will shift his focus to EVs, said one source. The EVs will target a mass-market segment, another source said.
All the sources declined to be named as the discussions are private.
Chongqing-based Changan, which is making cars with Ford Motor Co, declined to comment. BAIC BluePark did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Shares of Changan’s main listed company Chongqing Changan Automobile rose 8% after Reuters reported the discussions. BluePark’s shares jumped by their maximum 10% daily limit.
GROWING EV MARKET
Chinese technology firms have been stepping up their focus on EVs in the world’s biggest market for such vehicles, as Beijing heavily promotes greener vehicles as a means of reducing chronic air pollution.
Sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs), including pure battery electric vehicles as well as plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, are expected to make up 20% of China’s overall annual auto sales by 2025.
Industry forecasts put China’s NEV sales at 1.8 million units this year, up from about 1.3 million in 2020.
Huawei’s ambitious plans to make its own cars will see it join a raft of Asian tech companies that have made similar announcements in recent months, including Baidu Inc and Foxconn.
“The novel and complicated U.S. restrictions on semiconductors to Huawei have slowly been strangling the company,” said Dan Wang, a technology analyst with research firm Gavekal Dragonomics.
“So it makes sense that the company is pivoting to less chip-intensive industries in order to maintain operations.”
In the United States, Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc are also developing auto-related technology or investing in smart-car startups.
Huawei has been developing a swathe of technologies for EVs for years including in-car software systems, sensors for automobiles and 5G communications hardware.
The company has also formed partnerships with automakers such as Daimler AG, General Motors Co and SAIC Motor to jointly develop smart auto technologies.
It has accelerated hiring of engineers for auto-related technologies since 2018.
Huawei was awarded at least four patents related to EVs this week, including methods for charging between electric vehicles and for checking battery health, according to official Chinese patent records.
Huawei’s push into the EV market is currently separate from a joint smart vehicle company it co-founded along with Changan and EV battery maker CATL in November, two of the sources said.
(Reporting by Julie Zhu in Hong Kong and Yilei Sun in Beijing; additional reporting by David Kirton in Shenzhen; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Richard Pullin)
Facebook switches news back on in Australia, signs content deals
By Renju Jose and Jonathan Barrett
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Facebook Inc ended a one-week blackout of Australian news on its popular social media site on Friday and announced preliminary commercial agreements with three small local publishers.
The moves reflected easing tensions between the U.S. company and the Australian government, a day after the country’s parliament passed a law forcing it and Alphabet Inc’s Google to pay local media companies for using content on their platforms.
The new law makes Australia the first nation where a government arbitrator can set the price Facebook and Google pay domestic media to show their content if private negotiations fail. Canada and other countries have shown interest in replicating Australia’s reforms.
“Global tech giants, they are changing the world but we can’t let them run the world,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday, adding that Big Tech must be accountable to sovereign governments.
Facebook, whose 8-day ban on Australian media captured global attention, said it had signed partnership agreements with Schwartz Media, Solstice Media and Private Media. The trio own a mix of publications, including weekly newspapers, online magazines and specialist periodicals.
Facebook did not disclose the financial details of the agreements, which will become effective within 60 days if a full deal is signed.
“These agreements will bring a new slate of premium journalism, including some previously paywalled content, to Facebook,” the social media company said in a statement.
The non-binding agreements allay some fears that small Australian publishers would be left out of revenue-sharing deals with Facebook and Google.
“It’s never been more important than it is now to have a plurality of voices in the Australian press,” said Schwartz Media Chief Executive Rebecca Costello.
Facebook on Tuesday struck a similar agreement with Seven West Media, which owns a free-to-air television network and the main metropolitian newspaper in the city of Perth.
The Australian Broadcasting Corp has said it was also in talks with Facebook.
Google Australia managing director Mel Silva said in a statement published on Friday the company had found a “constructive path to support journalism”.
She thanked Australian users of the search engine for “bearing with us while we’ve sent you messages about this issue”.
Facebook and Google threatened for months to pull core services from Australia if the media laws, which some industry players claim are more about propping up ailing local media, took effect.
While Google struck deals with several publishers including News Corp as the legislation made its way through parliament, Facebook took the more drastic step of blocking all news content in Australia.
That stance led to amendments to the laws, including giving the government the power to exempt Facebook or Google from mandatory arbitration, and Facebook on Friday began restoring the Australian news sites.
(Reporting by Renju Jose and Jonathan Barrett; Editing by Richard Pullin and Jane Wardell)
China’s factory activity growth likely moderated during February holiday lull – Reuters poll
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s factory activity likely grew at a slightly slower rate in February as factories closed for the Lunar New Year holiday, a Reuters poll showed, although growth is expected to remain firm, buoyed by an early resumption of production.
The official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) is expected to dip marginally to 51.1 in February from 51.3 in January, according to the median forecast of 20 economists polled by Reuters. A reading above 50 indicates an expansion in activity on a monthly basis.
Chinese factories typically scale back operations or close for lengthy periods around the Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in the middle of February this year.
However, the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the winter had prompted local governments and companies to dissuade workers from travelling back to their hometowns, giving a boost to the earlier-than-usual resumption of production at many factories, analysts say.
“Although government COVID-19 prevention measures may constrain some manufacturing activities in the near-term, the fact that a majority of migrant workers stayed in their workplace cities for the holiday should facilitate an earlier resumption of business activity following the holiday this year,” said analysts at Nomura in a note to client on Thursday.
Wang Zhishen, a migrant worker from Gansu, told Reuters that his factory, a manufacturer of logistics boxes in the manufacturing hub of Dongguan, only closed for three days during the holiday, thanks to overwhelming businesses. Lured by the 1,500-yuan cash subsidy his factory offered, he chose to work through the holiday.
The Chinese economy has largely shaken off the gloom from the COVID-19 health crisis, with consumers opening up their wallets after months of hesitation. Growth is now set to rebound sharply this quarter, also helped by the low base effect of a year ago.
The country has successfully curbed the domestic transmission of the COVID-19 virus in northern China, with the national health authority reporting zero new local cases for the 11th straight day. Cities that were on lockdown have since vowed to push for a work resumption at full speed.
The official PMI, which largely focuses on big and state-owned firms, and its sister survey on the services sector, will both be released on Sunday.
The private Caixin manufacturing PMI will be published on Monday. Analysts expect the headline reading will dip slightly to 51.4 from 51.5 in January.
(Reporting by Stella Qiu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Sam Holmes)
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