Q1 2024

The Business Concept- Q1 2024 Direct-to-Consumer fulfilment is among the top priorities for 84% of European commerce and supply chain leaders 54% of respondents say DTC sales have increased by more than 25% over the past 12 months, indicating that market growth remains dynamic and is likely to continue

The Business Concept is dedicated to providing you with the latest, most intricate visions from across the business landscape. Globally, there is an endless amount of support for business development – and The Business Concept is here to showcase the solutions being provided around the world. As we make our way through Q1, the business landscape continues to evolve, with hot topics in 2024 including remote work, artificial intelligence, and heightened focus on cybersecurity efforts. Businesses are expected to embrace change with resilience and adaptability, within this, allowing flexibility for their teams and integrating innovative technologies to enhance operations, while ensuring solutions are in place to ensure everyone’s safety and data security. Indeed, businesses are set to amplify their digital transformations this year with cloud-based technologies, AI, and robust cybersecurity, in order to improve their processes and gain a competitive edge in their respective industries. By having their eye on current trends in the form of technological developments, shifting consumer behaviours, and economic climate, they are equipped to overcome any challenges and succeed in what they do best. With this being the outlook for the year to come, in this issue, we provide you with the latest news and insights from some of the top innovators from across the corporate landscape, whether in marine, technology, commerce, or supply chain. We hope you enjoy perusing this issue and that you have a wonderful quarter ahead. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon for our Q2 issue. Rebecca Scotland- Editor Welcome to the Q1 issue of The Business Concept.

Contents 4. News - Expansion of Partner Business: ASC Announces Partnership with CDM - Wittur overhauls its procurement pathway 6. Underwater robot to reduce costs and environmental impact for ships 8. Direct-to- Consumer fulfilment is among the top priorities for 84% of European commerce and supply chain leaders 9. Object First Announces Rapid Growth on First Anniversary, Cites Bookings Surge, Global Expansion, and Robust Hiring 10. Innovative, London SaaS business that drives culture through data set to scale by 400%

News. 4 Expansion of Partner Business: ASC Announces Partnership with CDM ASC Technologies AG, one of the world’s leading providers for cutting-edge software and cloud solutions, specialized in compliance recording and analysis of communication, has announced the partnership with CDM (Communications Design & Management), one of Australia’s leading ICT service providers. The partnership brings together CDM’s expertise in IT network infrastructure and service delivery with ASC’s many years of experience in compliance recording and AI-driven analytics. The objective of the collaboration is to enable a wide range of industries - including financial institutions, contact centers, and the public sector - to utilize Microsoft Teams for their business communication while adhering to compliance requirements and benefiting from AI supported tools. CDM’s Unified Communications Manager commented: “Providing the right solution for the best possible outcome for our customers is a key focus of CDM. To ensure we deliver on this commitment, we select only those products that we consider to be best of type as components for our solutions. Within our Unified Communications practice, we have chosen ASC to provide class-leading recording and analytics across our entire technology stack. With the strong uptake of Microsoft Teams, ASC’s solution Recording Insights means recordings are no longer just stored to disk but now provide invaluable information to shape customer’s business decisions.” Recording Insights facilitates recording calls, meetings, shared screens, videos and chats within Microsoft Teams and archiving them in a legally compliant manner. Recording Insights is a native, Microsoft-certified cloud solution that is hosted in Azure and can be seamlessly integrated into the collaboration platform. Dr. Gerald Kromer, CEO at ASC, added: “Together with CDM’s comprehensive ICT knowledge and customer-centric approach, we are able to set new standards for enterprise communication and collaboration. Our partnership will unlock the full potential of Microsoft Teams, backed by the power of Microsoft Azure and OpenAI.” CDM Integrates ASC’s Recording Insights Solution for Microsoft Teams into its Product Portfolio

5 News. Wittur overhauls its procurement pathway Headquartered in Germany, with production sites in 11 countries, nearly a billion in sales in 2022, 4900 employees with 7 competence centers, 600+ patents and more than 50 countries served by the sales network, Wittur is an international leader among elevator components and offers the widest range of products in the elevator industry. Wittur has launched a major procurement digital transformation project with a new platform built on JAGGAER technology, which centrally enables online management of key information related to the supplier base. The portal is available in 5 languages and already has 4,000 suppliers from around the world on board, covering more than a hundred product categories. The new platform also supports risk assessment analysis through dedicated scorecards, which are critical for the decision making process. The digitization journey encompasses document management related to suppliers, down to the management of contracts and framework agreements. “It was necessary and urgent for us to have all the information and best practices that were present in different Wittur offices around the world online, on a dedicated platform. Now all key information about our suppliers is tracked, available and usable in a few clicks, and the category tree allows us to use the supply fleet for different tasks. We are pleased with the progress with JAGGAER on this fruitful journey,” comments Pedrina Lucio, Manager of Purchasing Performance Office at Wittur. “The project developed smoothly and quickly,” comments Fabio Moretti, Account Director at JAGGAER. “The objectives and the solutions were clear for us right from the start; together we shared a linear process that immediately yielded results, facilitating the team’s adoption of the new platform.” One of the next steps relates to sustainability; Wittur aims to integrate the activities it currently performs to qualify and track the compliance with key ESG criteria for all global key suppliers onto the platform. Wittur, one of the leading international groups in elevator components, has unveiled a new international supplier management platform, powered by JAGGAER.

Underwater robot to reduce costs and environmental impact for ships A marine sector startup is developing an underwater robot that can substantially reduce fuel costs, maintenance needs and environmental impact for ships, boats and submarines by autonomously removing built-up microorganisms, plants and algae from hulls. ScrubMarine, founded by engineer Clyne Albertelli, has been accepted into the inaugural cohort of Heriot-Watt University’s DeepTech LaunchPad, a pilot programme which is helping entrepreneurs working in robotics, AI, and advanced engineering to commercialise their innovative ideas. Buildup of organic growth on marine vessels, known as biofouling, is a significant challenge to the world’s shipping industry and can cause damage to hull structures and propulsion systems. The accumulation of biofouling can also result in significantly increased drag of up to 60%, reducing speeds and increasing fuel consumption by up to 40%. As part of the 6-month pilot, ScrubMarine aims to further develop complex navigation and control systems required for the realworld application of its robotic solution, utilising Heriot-Watt’s array of experts from across its three global campuses and the cross-discipline research outputs of four global research institutes - including iNetZ+, the emerging Global Research Institute for Net Zero transition and beyond. Clyne Albertelli, founder of ScrubMarine, said: “In the vast ocean of innovation, ScrubMarine is committed to charting a cleaner and more efficient course for the marine industry. Our underwater robot, powered by deep-learning and supported by Heriot-Watt’s DeepTech LaunchPad, aims to scrub away biofouling challenges, reducing fuel costs and environmental impact. Together, we’re diving into a brighter and cleaner future for marine transportation.” The DeepTech LaunchPad, supported by Barclays Eagle Labs through the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology Digital Growth Grant, is providing six organisations with access to tailored services, facilities and equipment within Heriot-Watt and the National Robotarium, the world-leading centre for robotics and artificial intelligence based at the University’s Edinburgh campus. ScrubMarine joins five other highly innovative companies from sectors including self-care, prosthetics, and food services. These include Borobo Ltd, founded by industrial designer Alexandre Colle, which aims to advance a new robotics platform targeting enhanced power management and electronic board design. GI Healthcare Industries, led by entrepreneur and engineer Aswath Ganesan Indra, is revolutionising food services with semi-autonomous cooking robots for institutional catering. Infinity DPM is creating advanced upper limb prosthetics through expert engineering and biomechanics by founder and mechanical engineer David Yeudall. Janki Group, led by architect Aisha Janki Akinola, is building an AIpowered tattoo robot system for the personal self-care industry, whilst Wynter Robotics is building mobile robotic solutions for construction industry applications such as measuring, bricklaying, and wood frame assembly. The six successful companies will receive training and support from the university’s commercialisation team, helping them to become investment-ready with proven prototype products, industry partners and a viable route to market. Jamie Allan is Heriot-Watt University’s Deeptech Launchpad programme leader. He said: “The DeepTech LaunchPad marks an incredibly exciting step in strengthening Scotland’s innovation ecosystem and establishing Heriot-Watt as a global leader in commercialising deep technology research. As an international university with campuses and partnerships spanning the world, Heriot-Watt is uniquely positioned to help entrepreneurs translate their ideas into transformative and commercially viable solutions. “Through this pilot programme, our six-strong cohort will gain access to world-leading facilities like the National Robotarium as well as our vast network of international industry connections, experts and alumni to accelerate their cutting-edge research toward commercial success on the global stage. By fostering this collaboration, we empower the translation of deep science into transformative solutions ready to make real-world impact. “We eagerly anticipate the fruits of this hands-on commercialisation experience and look forward to continued engagement with these innovators as they bring remarkable technologies to market across critical sectors like medical devices, food technology, robotics, and sustainability.” Grant Wheeler, Head of Commercialisation at Heriot-Watt University, said: “Having a deeptech accelerator is one of the missing pieces in Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and will allow our nation to create companies that can compete on an international scale. “By giving external entrepreneurs access to the same expertise and facilities as our internal teams, the DeepTech Launchpad levels the playing field and fertilises high-growth businesses with worldchanging potential.” Applications for the next cohort open in mid-2024 following evaluation of the pilot. Heriot-Watt intends to scale up the programme and potentially expand to other Scottish universities if this first round proves successful. Heriot-Watt University announces startup cohort for deeptech accelerator programme

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The Business Concept- Q1 2024 | 8 Jul23400 Direct-toConsumer fulfilment is among the top priorities for 84% of European commerce and supply chain leaders Eighty-four percent of commerce and supply chain leaders rank Directto-Consumer (DTC) fulfilment among their top three priorities with more than a third saying it has become their most important initiative. This was a key finding in recent research commissioned by cloudbased, omnichannel fulfilment software provider, Deposco. Opinions of 200 senior decision-makers from leading commerce and supply chain organisations across Europe were included in the poll. Bill Gibson, CEO of Deposco, commented: “These figures prove that European businesses are eager to invest in DTC fulfilment models and that their interest is increasing over time. We believe there are two main reasons why investment is ramping up.” “First, organisations increasingly realise that DTC is a great way to give them closer connections with their customers and therefore a better handle on demand; why people are buying, what they are buying, and how they want to buy it. Second, consumers themselves are eager to take advantage of DTC and have enthusiastically embraced it in recent years.” In line with this growing customer interest, we continue to see companies reporting a big increase in DTC sales and making investments in the fulfilment technologies that run them. In Deposco’s last European DTC research, published in 2023, 37% of respondents said that their DTC sales had increased by more than 25% over the past 12 months. In our most recent 2024 survey, 54% of respondents say the same. Talent and technology to the fore In delivering on this potential, businesses need to make use of the right combination of technology and talent to drive their organisations forward. Forty-four percent of the survey sample have implemented new fulfilment technologies to help manage DTC orders. According to Gibson: “It’s imperative for DTC providers to have a robust fulfilment infrastructure to manage that growth efficiently and scale in line with it over time. But they also need solutions that are flexible enough to handle what continues to be a dynamic market, both in terms of what customers are doing and in terms of supply.” In line with this, 32% of businesses are investing in order management and fulfilment technology. Additionally, by growing the proportion of stock sourced from nearshore suppliers, businesses can further reduce the need to retain stock on hand, as 34% of respondents are already doing. In general terms, with the current era of macro-economic disruption likely to continue, businesses understand that they need to rely on technology to achieve long-term success. 71% of businesses believe investing in warehouse management software or order management software platforms could drive profitability, and three-quarters believe it could drive higher sales. But the technology needs to be intuitive and easy to use, with 48% of respondents saying that in the past 12 months, the growth in DTC has led to a need to hire more technically skilled staff to fulfil orders. According to Gibson: “a modern order management system is key in unravelling barriers to success in DTC ecommerce. High-growth brands have found such software crucial for operational efficiencies, smooth technology upgrades, and control over the customer experience. This aligns with the broader industry trend where DTC ecommerce fulfilment software is essential for managing higher volumes and specialised customer requirements more effectively than traditional B2B models.” 54% of respondents say DTC sales have increased by more than 25% over the past 12 months, indicating that market growth remains dynamic and is likely to continue

The Business Concept- Q1 2024 | 9 Jul23056 Object First Announces Rapid Growth on First Anniversary, Cites Bookings Surge, Global Expansion, and Robust Hiring Object First, the provider of Ootbi (Out-of-the-Box-Immutability), the ransomware-proof backup storage appliance purpose-built for Veeam®, today announced rapid bookings growth and strong business momentum on the first anniversary of the company launch in February 2023. As the threat of ransomware targeting backups continues to rise, Object First’s success is based on delivering a secure, simple, and powerful backup storage solution for Veeam customers that doesn’t require technical or security expertise. “Object First’s momentum is easy to explain: we have the right technology, right people, and right commitment to customer and partner success,” said David Bennett, CEO, Object First. “We’ve made ransomware-proof immutable storage easy to deploy and manage — accelerating recovery, reducing downtime, and minimizing the financial impacts of disasters. In our second year and beyond, we look forward to continuing our expansion in LATAM and EMEA, growing our reseller community to reach even more customers, and continuing to add to the innovation and benefits of Ootbi.” Ootbi’s Swift Adoption Since the launch of Ootbi in February 2023, Object First has deployed over 80 Ootbi installations — six of which were valued over $100,000 USD — and achieved bookings growth of over 200% from the first half of the year to the second half. Interest in the solution continues to build, with an over 400% increase in inbound sales inquiries in the same period. Object First collaborates closely with its customers and partners, helping them implement Zero Trust security principles and protect data with out-of-the-box immutability. This led to winning relationships with top technology companies like Mirazon, Centerbase, Prodatix, and Waident. As stated by Zach Young of Centerbase, “With Ootbi, we can decrease our Recovery Point Objective (RPO) by 50%. It’s allowed us to protect our critical infrastructure better, and I can sleep more soundly at night. Ootbi just works, and it’s simple to deploy — just set it and forget it.” Partner and Channel Focus As a 100% channel company, Object First focused on building and investing in its strategic partner network throughout 2023 by providing education resources, sales and marketing programs, and exceptional customer support. This led to the team onboarding over 29 partners in under nine months. Object First also received multiple channel accolades for its work, including: • Named by CRN to its Stellar Startups for 2023 list • Vitaly Sukhovsky, Vice President of Channel Sales, honored as a 2024 CRN Channel Chief Expanding Global Distribution In the USA, Object First added Arrow Electronics, a global provider of technology products and services, to its distribution roster, which also includes TD Synnex. Object First expanded its footprint into several new international markets, including relationships with respected distributors: • LATAM: Adistec, the leader in value-added distribution in Latin America and the Caribbean with more than 20 years of experience delivering 100% IT solutions through channels. • EMEA: Copaco, a distributor in Benelux and France of information technology (IT), and Ingram Micro, the business behind the world’s brands with the ability to reach nearly 90 percent of the world’s population. Team Growth To fuel the company’s rapid expansion and innovation, Object First increased its employee base by 64% in 2023, focused on people dedicated to superior customer and partner experience, technology innovation, and the ability to scale to a global presence. Notably, the team welcomed several industry veteran executives, including Andrew Wittman, Chief Marketing Officer, and Eric Schlott, Chief Product Officer. “Immutable storage is an effective layer of ransomware defense, but not all organizations have the know-how to deploy and manage it,” said Johnny Yu, Research Manager, Storage and Computing at IDC. “Object First addresses this with an appliance that has Object Lock by default and is tailor-made for the backup use case through deep integration with Veeam backup software. The result is an immutable backup storage target in a one-box solution -- no security expertise required.” “Ransomware affected 66% of organizations in 2023, with backups a primary target. As the risks increase, Object First and Ootbi are perfectly positioned to help even more organizations improve their security posture in 2024 with immutable backup storage that is secure, simple, and powerful,” said Bennett. “We’re just getting started, and I’m excited to see Object First reach the next level as the best storage for Veeam.” 200% growth in bookings for Object First’s Ootbi—the best storage for Veeam—and expansion into LATAM and EMEA markets

An innovative SaaS business that provides a rigorous platform to measure and manage culture is set to scale by 400% over the next 12 months. Headquartered in London, Culture15 was founded by Charlie Coode, an entrepreneur, consultant and practitioner in culture, strategy, and leadership, with a clear mission to help organisations put culture at the heart of business performance through the power of data and technology. Since inception in 2015, Culture15 has helped many organisations effectively diagnose the culture they have, define the culture they want and then close the culture gap through clear strategy and direction. Inspired by decades of real-world culture change experience, the platform has been developed to provide users with actionable, accurate insights that relate directly to business challenges and help drive desired outcomes - culminating in culture change and improved business performance. Over the last 12 months, Culture15 has welcomed many new users to its platform, joining an impressive portfolio of brands who have and continue to utilise it, including BMJ, The British Army, Concurrent, London Energy, Places Leisure, and Quilter to name a few to name a few. As such, the business has achieved impressive growth in 2023, and is now on track to scale revenue by 400% during 2024 alone. Charlie Coode, Founder and CEO of Culture15, confirmed: “More and more organisations are waking up to the significant role culture plays in determining growth and success, and – more importantly – realise that positive company culture moves far beyond the concept of employee engagement. As such, we have seen incredible changes in many of the organisations that we have worked with over the last 12 months all through the power of data insights via the Culture15 platform, enabling vital change in team engagement, performance, and growth. In turn, we are delighted to increase support within our own team and now look forward to helping more businesses take the vital culture step during 2024 and beyond.” Fast becoming the ‘go to’ SaaS tool for cultural change in any organisation, Culture15 unveiled its new podcast, The Culture decooded, in January 2024 which will feature interviews with prominent leaders, culture practitioners and thinkers, including its first guest, Sam Galsworthy, original Founder of Sipsmith Gin. Innovative, London SaaS business that drives culture through data set to scale by 400%

11. The Business Concept- Q1 2024 | 11