French firm buys ‘digital disruptor’

From left: John Phillips, Mark Engelhardt and Mark Turner of SEAMS
From left: John Phillips, Mark Engelhardt and Mark Turner of SEAMS

A Sheffield software company has been snapped up by a multi-national French consultancy to bring ‘digital disruption’ into the utilities sector.

SEAMS helps huge organisations which own assets - like pipes, wires, machines, structures and buildings - work out the best time to replace them.

By doing hi-tech tracking, stock control and analytics it produces a range of options for giant firms which balance ‘investments, risks and resource’.

The company is based on Napier Street near Waitrose and employs 45.

It agreed to a sale after being approached by Arcadis, a French design and consultancy firm for natural and built assets which employs 27,000 people in 70 countries and has revenues of 3.3bn euros.

A SEAMS spokesman said: “We’ve been listening to all of our clients, including at our recent SEAMS summit, and taking on board their needs in a rapidly changing market, particularly in terms of the need to reduce costs without impacting service delivery to end users.

“We are confident the combination of SEAMS analytics capability and Arcadis’ asset knowledge across the asset lifecycle means we will now be uniquely placed to achieve those goals.

“This is a big step for both Arcadis and SEAMS, and we are confident the acquisition will bring significant benefits to all our clients.”

The firm is led by managing director, Mark Engelhardt, and technical director, Mark Turner.

Mark Engelhardt, said: “The drive for better corporate performance and returns sits at the heart of most businesses.

“Our approach is all about mining the plethora of data available to us and – most importantly – making the most effective use of it to inform the decision-making process.

“Our approach to data means that we can work with clients from the very earliest stages of strategic planning, right through to operational delivery, helping them to draw valuable insights that ultimately help to drive the best performance of their assets.”

Alan Brookes, CEO of Arcadis UK, said: “The utilities and infrastructure sectors are one of the last to be digitally disrupted and if we’re to meet future consumer and client demands, our industry needs to move forward quickly.

“At Arcadis, this is our key priority and we are rapidly accelerating the digitisation of our entire business for the benefit of our clients and to improve quality of life for their customers.

“While the volume of data is growing exponentially, the real value lies in our ability to interpret and understand how to use it.”