9. November 2018
Author Michael Drejer, Vd och koncernchef ICTA AB

Welcome

Welcome to this very first ICTA blog post! I am truly excited to share with you what is going on at ICTA.

We might make small modifications to the blog on the way but the address will remain the same icta.se/blog

I am planning on blogging regularly within two categories:
Regular posts and short posts:

  • Regular posts will be general blog posts, longer, more detailed and more background. It could be a specific topic, a client/case study, comments to a quarter etc.
  • Short post which will be a few paragraphs on client wins, new hires or simply shorter news that is interesting and deserves attention.I hope you will enjoy the future posts, thanks for tuning in!

What is going on at ICTA

When the new board was appointed in May of this year, and I was put in the CEO position we went right to work. We spent the majority of what was left of Q2 (~half May and full June) on trimming costs in ICTA and getting the cost level down for both internal and external costs. We have now accomplished that and secured an acceptable cost level going forward.

We have since then turned our efforts towards our current main focus, performance in the two subsidiaries FFW (owned 100% by ICTA) and River (owned 70% by ICTA), and lots have been going on during Q3.

We have specifically focussed on understanding the market trends and tendencies and improving sales focus on creating better results for existing customers and bringing in new accounts and work on exciting new projects together with them.

However before jumping into River and FFW, let’s start with ISBIT where ICTA holds a board positions and a 38% ownership. As you might have noticed it was announced last month that a new CEO has been appointed to help take the company further. That’s a step that we at ICTA fully support and I am excited to see Ben join the team (Ben Cousins – https://www.linkedin.com/in/bencousins/). Ben is an accomplished seasoned executive and with his leadership I feel certain that the ISBIT potential will unleash!

Lets move on to the subsidiaries:

FFW

FFW has continued the strong development from the past quarter (Q2) into this quarter (Q3) on both sales and revenue compared to the same quarters in 2017. FFW did a satisfactory EBIT in Q3-18 and are showing they are on the right track both in Europe and the US.

On top of that FFW has over the past 2 quarters successfully changed their offering into a more strategic and value driven approach, however still with an emphasis on technology. That seems to resonate well with the market where FFW can see a continued strong order intake.

Wins

FFW won 13 new accounts in Q3 of which 6 was won in the US (Certainteed is a key one) and 7 was won in Europe: Unesco France, Warner Music Classic, Socomec, BNP (Banque Nationale de Paris), Københavns Zoologiske Have (Copenhagen Zoo) and Spectra Systems A/S.

One of the largest new accounts added in Q3 was Vej Direktoratet (The Danish Road Directorate). Where FFW is set to deliver a new technical platform in Drupal 8 with a React frontend. The contract also holds support of the solution over the coming 4 years.

Launches

FFW has launched a set of projects during Q3 such as the Triflex project that holds Digital Strategy, Full user experience and a Drupal 8 built delivered out of FFW Germany. The project consist of:

FFW also launched the website for P4G. A network of global leaders and innovators seeking breakthrough solutions for green economic growth – learn more about P4G here https://p4gsummit.org and on the FFW blog https://ffwagency.com/digital-strategies-blog/building-platforms-global-change 

Other notable projects launched during Q3 was:

Acquia Engage Award

Together with Panasonic FFW won the Acquia Engage Award in the “Building on your terms” category. Read more on the Award from Acquia here: https://www.acquia.com/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/winners-unveiled-2018-acquia-engage-awards

Acquia Engage Award

River

River has had a better quarter in Q3 than the performance in Q2, however a few customers pushed expected projects and hence that, delayed the order in-take. That led to River not breaking even as expected for the quarter. As a strategic direction towards getting back to expected numbers River has among other areas had 2 main focus areas:

  • Optimizing and streamline the sales process, with an implementation of a new CRM and a strategic focus on the sales funnel.
  • Change the offering into becoming a more strategic partner to their customers both new and existing. That has resulting in some team changes where some people left and new will be hired.

New client wins:

River won several new accounts during Q3 some of the more prominent ones are: Stora Enso where River have become a global agency partner for all divisions, Schneider Electric (Global), Klarna, Red Bull together with FFW, Speedy Casino, MEAG and Danone

Project launches

River launched a lot during Q3 some of the more notable launches was:

River designed and created the home and away jersey kit launch for Galatasaray football club for Nike Turkey:

Galatasaray Jersey concept – large image 
Galatasaray Jersey concept – large image

Further more River launched a new Campaign for Friends “Back to school”. Another one was for Svenska Freds, River launched a new website where River did the Strategy, UX, design and development. See it here: http://www.svenskafreds.se

Q3

Today, we are also launching the Q3 report (find it here). Quarterly report day, is an exciting day and this is my first full quarter in the seat. Exciting because the report shows the fruits (spoiled or fresh) of the past quarters labour.

We are all (ICTA, ISBIT, River and FFW) working hard because we believe in the potential of the business’s and despite of this being the “summer” quarter (covering July, August and September) it has been a high activity quarter with a lot of good actions.

I am happy to see that this quarter developed significantly better than the previous one, and the result for the Q3 was acceptable, and shows a significant improvement from previous quarters and same period last year.

Q2 ended with an EBIT of -2.093MIO SEK and Q3 with a positive EBIT of 3.4MIO SEK.

This shows something! To me it shows that we are on the right track! But there is still a lot of work to do. It is however very motivating for all of us that things are moving in the right direction. Only through continued focus on performance in FFW and River will ICTA get fully back. So there is no surprise in our focus for the coming quarters, focus focus focus on better performance!

Onwards and upwards!

Michael Koefoed Steensborg Drejer