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31 May 2013 | Ken Turbitt Blog
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Are Capita Looking to Monopolise ITIL Training?
This week Ken explains why ITIL training organizations need to be a little concerned...

  Ken Turbitt

Some of you will know that I’m also a private landlord with properties in the UK and abroad. One of my properties near Heathrow was in need of a new boiler, so I applied under the Green Deal Scheme for some cash back. Interestingly when I registered, I discovered the company managing this government sponsored deal is no less that Capita. The same day I also received an email from the UK Planning Portal who provides information on building and housing planning matters across the country. It also showed that Capita and Barnet Council have entered into a planning JV to the tune of £154 million http://goo.gl/cJ9Vn.

So I thought, is this the same Capita that the UK Cabinet Office have just JV with over Best Practices (ITIL etc)? Well, yes it is. Looking at the font of all knowledge – Wikipedia http://goo.gl/WtXm7I found that Capita Plc, commonly known as Capita Group or Capita, is a business process outsourcing and recruitment company headquartered in London. It’s the largest business process outsourcing company in the UK, with an overall market share of 27% in 2009, and has clients in central government, local government and the private sector. It also has a property and infrastructure consultancy division which is the fourth largest multidisciplinary consultancy in the UK. Roughly half of its turnover comes from the private sector and half from the public sector.

It appears that central and local government in the UK give a fair bit of business to Capita already. Further to my previous blog on the sale of ITIL http://goo.gl/n1CWF it would be interesting to understand what the detail on the deal is. I would have thought that it should be a matter of record (Freedom of Information Act) that the detail of the contract be publicly available. Maybe it is and no-one has asked for it yet under the Freedom of Information Act, or maybe the detail is still being worked out during this honeymoon period before the JV Company is formed.

Not only did Capita recently acquire G2G3, the gamification company, but now they have acquired KnowledgePool http://goo.gl/QsWPa, so it means that when the JV was announced http://goo.gl/sXSLZ they really did have a game plan in place and are aggressively executing it. I’d be a little concerned if I was one of the many training organizations who get most of their revenue from ITIL as it looks like they are intent on dominating this market, and quickly.

Any feedback and comments are always welcome!

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20th June 2013

Hi Ken

Your article is very interesting and does actually bring to the fore some of the concerns that I have personally and I know others in the ITSM world have.  It is interesting that Capita will hold 51% of the JV, will own one of the worlds foremost gamification companies (I really don’t care that they have separate boards) and will also own a major player in the training market. Monpolise the market? It has been put to me that there is no indication of a monopoly being in place – WHAT??? Are they kidding me.

I am also very interested to learn how Capita intend to generate the revenues required to pay the £9,000,000 a year for the next 3 years that they have to pay HMG.  Looking further ahead where will the £500,000,000 come from? Expanded markets across the world? Sorry but ITIL & PRINCE2 to an extent are already out there and known – maybe not used as much but certainly known. That leaves two options to my mind – one is to aggressively introduce the monopoly and the other is serious price rises to use the products IP.

Final point around IP and use of logo etc.  At the moment Accredited Training Organisations need to be accredited to deliver training, tutors need to be accredited and materials need to be accredited, all costing not insubstantial amounts of money (especially for the smaller organisations).  What happens if Capita push the cost up to the extent that organisations cannot afford to become accredited or even worse what happens if Capita withdraw licences / the right to use materials & IP.  I have asked myself and others this question and so far not come up with a palatable answer.

ITIL and PRINCE2 have always been vendor neutral / independent.  I do not believe that is the case now.  So what will global organisations do? Will they use a product owned by one of their competitors? Will they develop their ITSM frameworks (e.g. MOF)?  I do not have a problem with any of this but it does sort of remove the value of vendor independent products. 

Wait and see? Sadly at this point that is all we can do.  Cannot help but think Cabinet Office and Capita could be making more of this opportunity than treating us like mushrooms.
 
Dave Jones
Principal Consultant
Pinkelephant

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