Management Report of the Board of Directors of Performance Technologies SA for the year 2012
The Board of Directors of PERFORMANCE TECHNOLOGIES SA, presents the following information regarding the activities and financial results of the Company for the year 2012, as well as our estimates for 2013.
- Introduction: Corporate activity, brief history and milestones in the company’s growth.
Performance Technologies SA (www.performance.gr) is a Greek IT company that provides technologically advanced solutions, products and services of high added value for the implementation of modern computing provisions and networks, processing, storing and organizing information, protection and data security, computer systems management and applications and more.
The Company has quality procedures certified by ISO 9001:2008 standard and safety and business continuity procedures certified by ISO 27001:2005 standard. The Company has a strong, recognizable brand, holding in its field of specialization a leading position in the Greek market, and also has strong business partnerships with international IT vendors. The Company is active in IT sectors(?) of high demand even in times of economic downturn, which include solutions and services for: virtualization, IT consolidation/ transformation/ re-platforming, cloud services, business continuity & disaster recovery services, IT service management & automation.
The Company’s client base consists of medium and large enterprises and organizations from virtually all sectors of the economy, such as telecommunications providers, banks, media & publishing, services providers/utilities, manufacturing and distribution companies, retail, educational and research institutions and public organizations.
The Company owns the 100% subsidiary Petabyte Solutions SA (www.petabyte.gr), who is specialized and holds a prominent position in providing implementation services and solutions/projects support in transforming IT infrastructure using virtualization & cloud computing technologies as well as OpenSource/ Linux software and related services (eg. RedHat, Zimbra, etc.)
The Company has established and operates subsidiaries abroad, specifically Performance Technologies (Cyprus) Ltd (100% direct investment), Performance Technologies BG AD (indirect participation, 100% subsidiary of PTC) and Performance Technologies (Romania) SRL (indirect participation, 100% subsidiary of PTC).
The sales revenue of the Company and the Group is derived from the provision of services and solutions for IT projects based on virtualization technologies, data storage, provisions and procedures for centralized backup & restore, systems for uninterrupted uptime, IT security systems, network and applications management and for ensuring SLA to the services provided.
Provided services include: consulting and programming, design and implementation services, support and maintenance services as well as technical training services. The last 4 years the company has implemented an investment more than 1 million Euros for the development of `cloud` products/services provided via broadband internet, by the specialized Bronet Business Unit (www.bronet.gr).
PT through Bronet business unit has developed the following Enterprise Cloud Services that are currently in trial run by a limited number of business customers:
– Enterpise Virtual Data Center aaS: Every customer has full capability to create and use one or more virtual machines (virtual servers) and private networks, in a secure environment, completely isolated from others. The most advanced virtualization technology (VMware vSphere) and cloud stack (vCloud Director) is utilized. The infrastructure used provides the highest levels of security, flexibility and quality with availability of 99.99%, in terms of computing, storage and network infrastructure.
– Enterprise Backup as a Service (EBaaS). This service leverages Enterpise Virtual Data Center and uses Symantec and EMC software in order to provide remote backup & disaster recovery to organizations and companies.
– Enterprise Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS): By using virtual datacenter infrastructure and tested technology, services of disaster recovery and business continuity are provided, in medium and large enterprises and organizations, with recovery time of minutes. The data from the client site are mirrored safely on the PT / Bronet cloud computing infrastructure, where used when needed for the recreation, in virtual machines, of the customer’s computer systems and data, as well as for automated systems / services / applications migration from the primary datacenter (the client) to the Virtual DataCenter infrastructure of PT / Bronet.
– Enterprise Email & Collaboration as a Service, using VMware Zimbra software. The service includes an enterprise class mail server, enabling file sharing, shared contact list and calendar, message archiving, webmail and mobile email.
– Virtual Labs as a Service: addresses the market of technologies and administration training services for VMware, Symantec, Red Hat, etc.
PERFORMANCE is ISO9001: 2008 certified for quality procedures and for security and business continuity with ISO27001.
The equipment on which the above services were formed and are currently operating includes Servers, Storage & Network and is installed in the Forthnet and LamdaHELLIX datacenters.
PERFORMANCE has signed collaborations to provide software as a service with the following providers:
– Microsoft SPLA (Microsoft software)
– VMware VSPP (vSphere & vCloud director)
– SymantecxSP (όλα τα προϊόντα)
– Citrix CSP (Netscaler, XenApp, XenDesktop)
– Zerto cloud edition
– BitDefender cloud edition
The enterprise cloud service’s existing infrastructure can support approximately 200 midsize virtual servers.
PT`s effort to develop and distribute enterprise cloud services began in 2007 with the acquisition of BRONET HELLAS SA. Bronet was then a newly established company with a business plan that foresaw the development of 3 innovative services, available through broadband connections that spread rapidly in Greece.
BRONET, using the expertise and guidance of PT, developed and implemented 3 services, specifically: Virtual Office: provision of computing as a service through broadband Internet connection, Digital Signage as a Service (telematics / advertising / marketing / public awareness solution, etc.), Remote Backup a data protection service for desktops / laptops or small networks. Bronet HELLAS SA was absorbed by PT on 1.1.2010 and has been since a business unit of PT. The brand «Bronet» was maintained, and is used by PT for cloud computing services developed by PT for the Greek and international market. «PT / Bronet” means Performance Technologies SA’s activity regarding the Business Unit Bronet.
The equipment (fixed assets) of PT / Bronet was installed in 2008 in a leased space in Forthnet Data Center, which ever since continues to be used and has been expanded. The infrastructure and technology used by PT / Bronet to develop the above 3 services was based on virtualization technologies which were available when the development started, ie 2007. The services were innovative for their time. Similar solutions from international providers emerged after 2009.The market for cloud services in 2008 was internationally in its infancy and basically non-existent in Greece, where potential customers were not ready and / or reluctant to adopt them.
Meanwhile, advances in technology were rapid, especially regarding virtualization that provides the key technological component for the creation of cloud services. Gradually the customers market matured referring to the acceptance and adoption of cloud services for productive use, mainly in the U.S. and secondarily in Western Europe. The last two years the market growth rate for Infrastructure as a Service is growing by 42-47% per year according to a recent analysis-study by Gartner.
Meanwhile, by the end of 2011, Performance began to design and implement a new type of cloud computing services (“Enterprise Cloud Services), according to the technological trends and market needs that was seeing being formed internationally and in Greece as well. Priority was given to the needs of medium / large enterprises and organizations which are PT’s main customer base. The necessary certifications for security and business continuity for such services (ISO 27001) were acquired and the original physical infrastructure was expanded with additional equipment. Additional leased facilities were acquired, in the qualitativelyadvanced data center of Lamda Hellix. The new services that were designed and implemented (PT / Bronet Enterprise Cloud Services) use physical infrastructure located in the Lamda Hellix datacenter.
Key component of the solutions promoted is reliable and proven hardware and software products supplied directly from acclaimed manufacturers such as IBM, HP, DELL, EMC, etc., with whom has a direct contractual relationship as a partner / reseller/ distributor.
Through these contracts, for which significant resources has been -and keep on being- invested, the companyis provided in some cases with resale and/or distribution rights of value added products in Greece and other countries in EMEA as well as rights and responsibility for the operation of official technical training centers in relevant technology solutions and related training services offerings.
The combination of experience and expertise as well as low cost estimates, due to trade agreements, makes the Company and the Group highly competitive in its fields of expertise, both in Greece and abroad. They also allow “best of breed” optimal product combination selection, so as the designed solutions meet perfectly the real needs of the customer, as opposed to large multinational firms -manufacturers, that are usually limited by their own product portfolio.
Since 2006, the Company invests in expanding its customer base and business abroad. The Company has succeeded in providing overseas clients such as banks and telecommunications companies with significant international presence, complete and complex IT infrastructure solutions with high added value. In this effort are utilized both existing commercial/business partnerships with IT companies operating internationally, who already know and trust the company for the high quality of its services and expertise, as well as new collaborations that are being developed.
Since the beginning of the collaboration with EMC in 2010, the Company has developed, operates and evolves a modern EMC Signature Solutions Center in order to enable its customers to visit and see new technologies and solutions from EMC and VMware in actual operation, so as to eliminate the risk inherent in the purchase decision and adoption of new technologies. Through continuous education and specialization of the Company’s employees, in the last two years the level of cooperation with EMC has evolved significantly. The company is currently the only «EMC Velocity Signature Solution Center Partner» in Greece and the wider geographical region featuring three (3) specializations (Consolidate, Advanced Consolidate & BRS), thus is distinguished significantly from its competitors.
The Company is one of the most important partners of Symantec in Greece and the SEEMA region. Since 2012, when Symantec announced the new global partner program based on «Solution Specializations», the Company began investing heavily in training and technical certification of its personnel, drawing on its vast expertise and long experience in designing and implementing such solutions. It was the first company in Greece and the Balkans who acquired two major Specializations: the “Symantec Data Protection Specialization” and “Symantec Archiving and e-Discovery Specialization”. Continuing to invest in strengthening its strategic partnership with Symantec, has acquired a certification of the highest level of cooperation with Symantec: the «Symantec Master Specialization». It is the only company in Greece and the Balkans that has this level of cooperation, and of the few in Europe. Symantec trusts the Master Specialist Partners to deliver, on its behalf, excellent technical and advisory services to the users of its products. The “Symantec Master Specialization” is, in the global IT market, recognizable guarantee and synonymous with “Symantec Approved”. Recently the Company also acquired the “Symantec High Availability Specialization”, being the only company in Greece that has proven expertise and experience in Veritas Storage Foundation and Veritas Cluster Server solution-based technologies.
Since 2011, the Company, by expanding its cooperation with the International SoftWare House Red Hat, signed an agreement that makes the Company an official Red Hat training center for provision of training services and certification of skills, e.g. Red Hat System Administrator, Red Hat Certified Engineer etc. Also, by utilizing the technical capabilities of its subsidiary Petabyte Solutions SA, the company successfully claims, initiates and implements major projects in Greece for customers that utilize operationally the advanced Red Hat Linux technologies.
The Company is the major partner of VMware in Greece, being the first IT company in Greece (and from the first in Europe) which concluded a partnership with VMware, since 2001. Over the last 6 years the company had the responsibility of distributing VMware software in Greece, Cyprus and Malta, development, training and support of channel partners etc. This contractual partnership with VMware was limiting its ability to contract directly with end customers. But since the virtualization market has matured and taking under consideration the growing needs of enterprise customers, the Company has chosen to end the contractual distribution relationship since 1.1.2012, so it can concentrate, without distractions and restrictions, on being a VMware Solution Provider. During 2012 the Company focused on claiming projects from customers in need of adopting advanced virtualization technologies provided by VMware or utilizing such infrastructures and evolving them. This decision has already generated significant positive results in new projects and client relationships.
The reasons mentioned above have led the Company to end the rest of the distribution activities, which from 1.1.2010 were the object of the independent business unit “Performance VAD”. In the first half of 2012, the company invested an initial capital of 60.000 euro for establishing the new company «AlfaVAD SA» (www.alfavad.com). This company, having independent administration from PT, is staffed by personnel with experience in distribution and focuses solely on Value Added Distribution activities. It is promoting, in Greece and abroad, exclusively through channel partners, IT solutions for Virtualization, Cloud Computing, Storage, Data Protection, Availability, Security, ITSM & IT Automation etc. Additionally it promotes and provides technical training for professional IT executives in all of the above fields. Since the distribution of third-party products is no longer in line with the go-to-market approach of the company, the main focus of the Company is to sell as soon as possible its entire stake in AlfaVAD SA, to an investor or a company engaged in the distribution of such specialized products and solutions. Therefore the Company will not consolidate it in its financial statements, and will handle this asset as “asset held for sale” when with contractual arrangement will cease to have participation in the decision making of financial, commercial and operational policies of the associate.
In 2012 the Company has created and staffed a new business unit that specializes in providing technical / advisory services focusing in the field of ITSM / BSM (IT Service Management, IT Systems & Network Management, Business Services Management, IT Automation, Job Scheduling etc.). The Company believes that the needs of business customers for such services are increasing both in Greece and abroad, and already executes projects in this area, to major customers (e.g. ΟΤΕ, COSMOTE, Alpha Bank, Marfin Egnatia Bank etc.). Furthermore, the expertise and experience generated by this activity is internally useful for the Company, strengthening it against the competition in core business areas, e.g. development, planning, implementation and delivery of advanced Bronet Cloud Services & IT Managed Services.
In conclusion, an important business distinction for 2012 is that the Company was awarded by the public as the best company in the Alternative Market on the Business Awards 2012 organized by Ethnos – MONEY magazine.
- Comments on Financial Results for 2012
In 2012, the recession intensified in Greece and business became more difficult with the overall drop in demand, reduction of business and individual incomes as a result of fiscal measures, and skyrocketing unemployment. There was widespread reduction of market liquidity, and funding and credit difficulties from the financial system.
The Company, despite the lingering recession has managed to gain many new important customers, increase market share and sales revenue and to strengthen its position and gross profits against the competition.
The sales revenue showed an increase of 4.4% and amounted on consolidated basis to € 10,480 million in 2012 versus € 10,035 million in 2011, and for the parent amounted to € 10,145 million in 2012, compared to € 9,734 million in 2011 increased by 4.2%.
In 2012 the gross profit on a consolidated basis amounted to € 2,795 million, versus € 2,577 million in 2011, while for the parent amounted to € 2,620 million compared to € 2,200 in 2011.
On a consolidated basis, EBITDA amounted to € 534.29 thousand versus € 727.41 thousand in 2011, while for the parent, EBITDA amounted to € 985.71 thousand in 2012 versus € 752.10 thousand in 2011.
On a consolidated basis, the result before taxes in 2012 is loss € -281.35 thousand, against a loss of € -19.34 thousand in 2011, due to increased investments and depreciation, as well as negative results of the domestic and foreign subsidiaries.
TheCompany’s profitbefore tax in 2012amounted to€174.31thousand versus
€ 12.22 thousand profit in 2011.
The Company managed to increase its profits and revenues contracting with large and reliable customers, undertaking significant projects and orders, and by reinforcing its position in innovative information technology solutions in areas of strong demand, such as cloud computing services by «Bronet» business unit and consulting services by ITSM business unit.
The Receivables turnover of the Group was reduced to 164 days on 31/12/2012, from 172 days on 31/12/2011 and for the Company to 165 days from 173 on 31/12/11. The same indicator, taking into account the requirements of the start and end of the period (average), for the Group decreased to 149 days from 164 days on 31/12/11 and for the Company remained at similar levels to 166 days on 31/12/12 from 164 on 31/12/11.
The total financial cost was restrained despite the high interest rates and the general prevailing circumstances regarding the difficulty in speed increase of debt recovery due to low cash flow. Specifically in 2012 the finance expenses of the Group amounted to € 133 thousand versus € 128.5 thousand in 2011, an increase of 3,1%.
General liquidityindicatorsremainpositive forthe Group andfor the Companyin 2012.In particular, theliquidity ratioof the Group is1.23andthetest ratiois1.14, while for thecompany the general liquidityis1.21and the direct1,13. Stocksofthe company and groupappear loweron31.12.2012amounting to
€ 610 thousand and € 551 thousand respectively, compared to € 646 thousand and € 590 thousand on 31.12.2011.
The Company in 2012 was able to avoid major losses from bad debts in that period, having applied, for the last 4 years, credit risk analysis procedures and control, and choosing to contract only with reputable customers with low credit risk.
The Company estimates that the economic downturn Greece is in, presents significant opportunities for growth in new areas of IT, for strengthening its competitive position and for expanding its customer base both in Greece and abroad.To seize these opportunities, it has intensified its investments in the direction of growth instead of decrease.
In the context of development – expansion, in 2012 the Company intensified its investments and expenditure to increase the skills and training of its staff and hired new personnel for the staffing and development of the i) ITSM / BSM consulting services and ii) Bronet Cloud Services Business Units.
The Company in 2012 continued to invest in innovation and technological development through product -solutions or services development available in the market and development of new products and services, mainly Bronet cloud services, buying the necessary infrastructure / equipment and keeping the costs at the same level as on 2011, about half a million Euros for the Group and the Company.
- Significant developments during 2012
1) Development of clientele, new partnerships, new products & services
The Company during 2012 successfully claimed projects by important customers in Greece and abroad, including telecommunications companies, financial sector, manufacturing, commercial, IT and others.
Significant projects undertaken for implementation by the Company are:
– WIND, project for replacing existing central storage infrastructure at a primary & DR site and provision of related migration services and support, of which part of the project has been completed and invoiced within 2012 and a significant backlog remains.
– ALPHA BANK, procurement of information systems to replace existing central servers’ infrastructure and migration services (data & servers) to VMware virtual servers.
– OPAP SA, supply of computer equipment and IT systems upgrade
– ELTA (Hellenic Post), supply & installation of Servers & Enterprise Storage System
– DEI (Public Electricity Co), supply & installation of storage system & San Switches
– NATIONAL BANK, support of the installed software base, 3 years duration. Project for replacing the existing centralized data storage infrastructure in the Primary & DR site and related migration and support services.
– HELEX (Hellenic Exchanges Group), supply of servers, software and services.
– FORTHNET, various projects related to Storage systems supply and software support services. Design and implementation of Private Cloud Computing with automation of the IT Division’s operations
– OTE (Hellenic Telecommunications Company), technical/consulting services for ITSM / BSM (IT Service Management / Business Services Management) as well as software and operating systems support.
– COSMOTE, ITSM services. Hardware and software support.
– TEIRESIAS, supply and implementation of virtualization project
– PIRAEUSBANK, provision of services and software
– AXA Insurance, software support services and supply of centralized data storage system.
– GROUPAMA PHOENIX, equipment supply and Cloud Computing services
– ATE INSURANCE, supply of centralized data and systems storage unit
– MILLENNIUM BANK, support services and IT outsourcing
– EFG IT SHARED SERVICES, software support services
– HSBC Bank, Cloud Computing services and IT outsourcing
– EUROBANK ERGASIAS BANK, material supply
– SIEMENS, supply and installation of centralized data, systems and virtualization infrastructure
– GENERAL BANK OF GREECE, software support services and supply of centralized data storage unit.
– VELTI, software support services
– INTRASOFT INTERNATIONAL, supply of software licenses and support services
– ANTENNA TV, hardware and software support services
– HELLAS ON LINE, supply of equipment, hardware and software support
– ING, Supply of centralized data storage system, systems and virtual machines.
– Business College of Athens (BCA), Cloud Computing services
As part of the continuous effort to exploit new business opportunities, the Company has expanded into new products and cloud computing services. During this period it has expanded its physical presence with infrastructure installed in state of the art data center (of Lamda Hellix), significantly expanding and complementing the capabilities provided by the existing Bronet infrastructure in the existing Forthnet Data Center. The Company recently acquired new business customers for Bronet cloud services, such as the educational organization «Business College of Athens (BCA)”, Greek Information Society SA and more. It also expanded and developed the infrastructure/service «virtual labs» provided under technical education (hands-on labs) to clients – educational institutions in Greece and abroad.
The Company organized, in Athens and Nicosia, in March 2013, the annual Virtualization & Cloud Computing Forum, which has established itself as the major conference on the subject. Like last year, in 2012 more than 600 business and organization executives, active in almost all sectors of the Greek economy, attended. At the event, among others, were presented information about the consolidation and expansion of Virtualization & Cloud Computing technology use, for the global and Greek market, the latest developments in the field, solutions offered by major IT companies for virtualization & cloud computing and best practices for utilization of such technologies by enterprises and organizations of every size.
The Company is running a complete investment business plan for boosting outward growth, totaling € 113 thousand. The project was approved for 45% co-financing from NSRF funds and is nearing completion.
Continuing the project of developing and strengthening its extraversion, the Company organized for the third consecutive year, a corresponding forum in Cyprus, in March 2012.
The Company also claimed and successfully executed projects for overseas clients (Malta, Romania) and keeps trying to further grow into new markets and new customers.
3) Investment in Human Resource Development, Vocational Training and Personnel Education in modern technologies and skills
The Companybelievesthat to invest on its workforce for acquiringmoreskillsthrough technical andvocational educationis a strategicpriority objectiveespeciallyin an economic downturn. To this end,in 2012investedsignificant resources toeducate and train its human resourcesinmodernskills (€ 28,5 thousand in 2012compared to € 20thousandin 2011),newtechnologies and methodologies.
The investment in personnel training is financed by additional funding from special grants and subsidies programs, but also from own resources. In 2012, the Company contracted with the National Institute of Human Resources a total of 92,000 Euros with 100% subsidy for training and education costs for its personnel, through the operational program “Business Structural Adjustment” by the Employment Agency (OAED). This program subsidizes costs and training activities under a Business Leadership System developed by the company, part of which is the Human Resources Management and Development System with a total duration of 18 months, launched in 2012.
The subsidiary Petabyte Solutions SA entered into a similar Development of Human Resources operational program and was approved a grant of 100% of the related costs totaling in € 22 thousand from the funds of the NSRF (ESPA) for the implementation of a Human Resources Development System and recruitment of specialized staff.
The Company on 31/12/2012 increased the number of staff (employees) to 31 people from 30 on 31/12/2011 and the Group to 46 people on 31/12/2012 from 44 on 31/12/2011.
- Estimates for2013
The Company believes to be well positioned to seize opportunities even in times of recession, such as the one the Greek economy is undergoing over the last 5 years. Enterprise companies and organizations will have an even more urgent need to drastically reduce their operating expenses and capital expenditures related to IT. This can be achieved by selecting qualified providers of IT solutions with high expertise, such as the Group, who have the ability and capacity to design and implement solutions that achieve added value to customers through active improvement of service quality and significantly reduce operating costs by selecting the appropriate combination for each client from a portfolio of products and manufacturers.
Key strategic objectives for the Company and the Group in 2013 – 2015 remain
- Maintaining and developing a share in the domestic market and abroad
- Maintainingand expandingstrategic partnershipsin Greece and abroadwith major partners(customers,investments inacquiring anddeepening theexpertise,suppliers, strategicinvestors)
- Developing new productsand services,anddevelopment of the existingin areasof high demand
- Providing qualityproducts andservices with highaddedvaluefor the Group andits customers, especially Bronet Cloud Services
- TheHuman Resources Development, attracting andretaining talentas the employer of choice
- The significant increase inoperating profitability for the Companyand the Group
- Significantrevenue growthfor the Companyand the Group
- The decrease of the Company and Group’s operating cost, minus staff’s costs, throughout rationalism, restructuring, relocation and mergers
- The increase of DirectandGeneralLiquidity ratio
- The improvement of Debt-to-Equity ratio
- The increase inliquidity throughcapital growthfromderiving fromthe capital marketsand / orstrategic investors
- The utilizationof resources andgrants by the NSRFand the EUfor investmentandoperationaldevelopment plans andstaff recruitment
The Company has the intangible resources, manpower and infrastructure as well as the expertise and experience required to achieve its objectives, to provide innovative and reliable solutions with high added value for its customers with whom it wishes to build long-term partnerships and become a leading selection partner for performance and efficiency in the information technology sector.
Agios Dimitrios, May 27th 2013
|The Chairman of the Board & CEO|
Dr. Dimitrios A. Papantoniou