Public Services > Central Government

Civica open to further expansion following digital acquisition drive

Neil Merrett Published 21 February 2017

Company says acquisitions may continue in order to support end-to-end digital transformation arm; enters new tenant services partnership with Leeds City Council

 

Civica will continue to look at potential acquisitions of businesses and suppliers to help expand the public sector digital transformation expertise that the company has built-up in recent years as it moves to adjust to ongoing changes to the UK political landscape.

On the back of the release of its latest annual report, Civica has this week announced a new strategic partnership with Leeds City Council to transform the authority’s tenant services by implementing an integrated housing management system intended to manage some 57,000 properties.

Valued at over £2m, the contract will see the council updating its IT systems by adopting an end-to-end, web-based solution from Civica to manage its housing needs 

Debra Coupar, the council’s executive member for communities, said the contract would allow the authority to make improved use of mobile and remote working, as well as how it uses data, to overhaul service delivery.

“The solution will also enable Housing Leeds to automate and streamline processes, allowing housing officers to spend more time with tenants. Employees will be able to access real-time customer information through their mobile devices, both on-site and on-the-move," she said. “This includes details of all contact with the organisation and services received, allowing the social housing provider to resolve tenant queries faster and more efficiently. The system will also support tenant interaction and engagement, allowing people to self-serve on many services including rent and repairs.”

The contract with the council is the first agreement to be reached by the company since it acquired social housing software provider Abritas late last year in a bid to underpin wider specialist housing platform offering. 

The company announced last month that it had formed a single unified division called Civica Digital with the aim of better meeting public sector needs for full-scale outsourcing, smaller-scale expertise or analytics services that can meet more specific public sector needs for organisation transformation.

Despite offering functions such as end-to-end support and specialised development services, Civica’s chief executive Wayne Story argued that further acquisitions could be undertaken over the next two to three years to further cement its offerings for central and local government as well as health, housing and the education sectors. 

The claims follow the publication of the company’s 2016 annual review, which saw Civica posting a 14% increase in group revenue up to the year ending September 30, 2016. 

Of this business, the UK and Ireland dominated demand for the company’s services with revenues of £217.6m generated over the year, an increase of 16%.  Over the period, total operating profit was said to have risen by 18% to £55.1m from £46.8m the previous year.

With the UK opting to leave the European Union following last year’s referendum, the company argued that its decision to form Civica Digital and take a broader approach to public sector transformation with an eye on Whitehall departments and agencies, would be important to maintaining resilience against market uncertainty.

Although functioning as an international company with operations beyond the UK, Story said Civica had not seen any material changes to its operations at present.  He added that the company was also looking at the Brexit process as an opportunity for its end-to-end business approach that it anticipated would allow Civica to support key government departments as they seek to adapt to a changing regulatory landscape.

Having already worked with border authorities and other central government organisations, Civica expressed confidence that it had the experience to work with departments on adapting services.

Story said the company was ultimately taking a “wait and see approach” to the UK’s exit from the EU, with a number of unknown variables on how industry and the wider economy may be affected yet to be realised.

“Certainly we are not battening down the hatches,” he added.

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