Drumz Q&A: Acuity to drive scale and growth rates (LON:DRUM)

Drumz plc (LON:DRUM) Chief Executive Officer Angus Forrest caught up with DirectorsTalk to discuss Acuity’s upgraded STREAM product, the changes made, what opportunities this brings to the company and what investors should be looking out for.

Q1: You announced that Acuity Risk Management, a company in which Drumz has a 20% holding, has upgraded its STREAM Integrated Risk Manager software product. Can you just remind us what the STREAM platform does?

A1: Simply, it assesses risk after consideration of a whole series of factors which are measured and impacted on the business. The most common use for STREAM is cyber security, measuring and looking at all the factors that would impact a company or other organisations, cyber security risks.

The product itself is very powerful and continues to calculate very sophisticated algorithms in real time to identify where risks are for an organisation and that is obviously increasingly important in today’s environment, particularly in cyber security.

Q2: You announced there were two major changes to the platform, can you just talk us through them?

A2: Acuity’s STREAM product has been used by the Chief Information Officer or Chief Risk Officer and their organisations within an organisation.

The new product enables the product to be deployed enterprise-wide, our three biggest competitors have products which are deployed enterprise-wide and we now are able to compete directly with them but we also have considerable advantages in speed of deployment. Our pace of deployment is you can have a fully working system up in a month compared with some of our competitors which may take 24 months to deploy. It’s also easier to deploy, a company could do it itself but most use to buy some consultancy from us so that’s number one. It would also enable us to charge commensurate charges to that that compete with our competitors so higher charges.

The second is integration with Microsoft Azure, that enables the product to be hosted anywhere on the globe which is increasingly important as there are legislative requirements for data storage. Also, there are territories where people would choose not to store their data if they could store it elsewhere. So, it enables the product to be used much more widely and we can probably charge higher costs and we can compete with the leaders in the world.

Q3: I guess that leads me to the new opportunities that this brings, what can you tell us about them?

A3: We currently have a sales pipeline which is bigger than we’ve ever had before, we have a presence in the UK and presences in North America and Germany. All three territories present tremendous opportunities for Acuity, now it’s got a product that’s competitive in the market, it can compete for every opportunity. These opportunities are measured in billion of pounds or dollars each year and the market is growing at 20% so it’s a really big step forward.

We are constantly trying to improve every aspect at security but it should enable to win contracts which are valued at two or three times the value of present contracts.

Q4: Finally, what’s next for Drumz? What should investors be looking out for?

A4: I’d like to concentrate on sales and marketing, I did say yesterday that there’s a new website and that is evidence that something is happening. The company itself regularly wins awards, the website is a place it can demonstrate its attractiveness and that both drives new business opportunities and it also creates assurance for companies that are considering Acuity.

Behind the scenes, we have strengthened our sales force in the last year, our sales force is now four times as big as a year ago and we are looking to develop in overseas markets. I think the other thing which ties in with the new product is we have got some launch customers for the new product and that’s important because once it’s seen to be working well in various industries, that will make it much easier to win more business.

The whole effort behind Acuity now is to drive the scale and growth rates at the same time as making improvements to our competitiveness throughout the business.

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