Delivering growth

Tribal’s goal is to be the international, market-leading education software and services provider, valued by customers, employees and shareholders alike.

Tribal Group

Overview

Tribal is a world-class, education focused company, providing the expertise, software and services needed by education and business organisations worldwide.  Everything we do underpins the experience and success of our customers’ students.

We operate internationally and serve hundreds of Higher Education, Further Education and Vocational institutions; thousands of schools; and many Government and State bodies, Training Providers and Employers; in over 55 countries. Tribal employs over 800 professionals with deep educational domain expertise, across our offices in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, US, Middle East, Philippines and Malaysia.

Vision & Mission

Our vision is simply: to empower the world of education.

Our mission is: to provide the expertise, software and services required by education and business organisations worldwide to underpin student success.

We strive to research, develop and deliver products, services and solutions needed by education institutes across the world that support the primary goals of educating students, providing optimum learning experiences and ultimately, delivering successful outcomes. Our solutions enable institutes to maintain their focus on the quality of learning and development offered to their students. 

Our Key Strengths

  • Extensive and long-standing customer relationships - we enjoy deep and long-term relationships with our customers across all education sectors.
  • Broad, complementary portfolio– we offer a range of world-class software and education services: market leading Student Information Systems that underpin the student journey from recruitment to successful outcomes; a broad range of education services, covering quality assurance, peer review, improvement and inspections; and a student survey and analysis business, (i-graduate) which provides the leading global benchmarks for student experience. 
  • Educational expertise and focus- our deep educational domain expertise has been developed through a long and successful history of working with, and focusing on, the education market. Our team includes many former education practitioners.
  • International delivery and insight- our business operates globally, and actively collects and shares leading-practice and market insight with our worldwide customer base.

Our Direction

We are developing a new Student Information System, Tribal Edge. This combines our rich experience and expertise, with feedback from our customers as to what they require now and in the future.  Tribal Edge will initially enhance and, in time, replace our existing student systems. Tribal Edge will provide richer functionality and a platform for our customers in Higher and Further Education to underpin their management and oversight of the student journey, from recruitment through to successful completion or graduation, and beyond.

Tribal Edge has been designed for the cloud, and with our collaboration agreement with Microsoft, will be available on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

More information on Tribal Edge can be found here.

Business Model

Our business model is shown below (click on the image for a larger version):

Tribal Business Model

Strategic Priorities

Our strategy is to focus globally on education sectors – Higher Education, Further Education and Vocational institutions, Schools, Government and State bodies, Training Providers, and Employers – to underpin student success through the provision of expertise, software and services.

We have four strategic priorities:

Deliver Tribal Edge - the new Student Information Platform
Description Tribal Edge, is a cloud-based Student Information Platform developed from a student centric perspective that will empower institutions to enhance the student experience and support the most appropriate outcome for each unique student. Tribal Edge will enable Tribal to offer a portfolio of applications and services to the education sector, developed by Tribal or by Tribal partners. The Student Information Platform focuses on creating the underlying interfaces, data structures and embedded analytics that enable these value-add solutions. Over time our current functionally rich applications will all reside within Tribal Edge.
Progress The first four Tribal Edge modules moved into beta at the end of 2017 and offer an enhanced student information mobile app; an integrated, social collaboration platform; full lifecycle student support; and outcomes-based learning analytics. All modules integrate with Tribal’s existing student systems. Early adopters have been identified and the Tribal sales teams have been fully briefed, creating a solid foundation for sales growth in 2018.
Increase Annual Recurring Revenue
Description We look to exploit the market direction of Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud-based solutions, both with the introduction of new solutions, and in the provision of cloud offerings for existing products. This enables on-going higher value service provision and a smoother income flow from those customers. The move of existing systems into the cloud also enables a more rapid adoption of modules in our new Student Information Platform.
Progress We have established a partnership with the world-wide, market leading managed cloud provider, Rackspace.  This enables us to provide our customers with a rich set of cloud services. The partnership has enabled us to offer a flexible “Tribal Cloud” covering a comprehensive private cloud solution, as well as managed public cloud services on AWS and Azure. The majority of new business sales are now on Tribal Cloud; from 2017 cloud services revenue are incremental to the support and maintenance fees when calculating Annually Recurring Revenue.
Grow market share in established and new territories
Description

We have a four-prong growth strategy:

  • Product penetration– we have substantial opportunities to cross-sell and upsell our products and services to our large and very loyal installed base of customers.;
  • Market penetration– a pro-active approach to new business in existing territories, and selling add-on solutions to sites without a Tribal Student Management System;
  • Geographical expansion– continuing our international sales development in regions such as the Middle East and US, and further penetration into target geographies including Canada, Singapore and Malaysia;
  • Mergers and acquisitions – we are constantly reviewing opportunities to broaden our applications and services portfolio, or to expand our geographical footprint.
Progress  We continue to make progress with both product and market penetration with a rejuvenated sales effort. The acquisition of intellectual property rights in a social network solution accelerated our development of Tribal Edge modules by providing additional functionality which we successfully sold to existing Tribal customers.
On geography, we have continued to expand student information system sales in Malaysia and continue to prospect in Singapore and Canada. Our education services business has won or renewed several school inspection contracts in the Middle East and the US.
Drive improved margin
Description We have a clear focus on operational efficiency and managing our overall cost base against the anticipated revenue so as to continue to improve our margins. A series of business process improvements have been implemented to improve sales and delivery capability.  These have been standardised across the Group, ensuring faster time to revenue. Continued margin improvement will ultimately increase value to shareholders.
Progress We continue to drive improved profitability achieving a margin of 10.1% in 2017, up from 5.2% in 2016.

Shareholder Engagement

Tribal proactively engages with its shareholders and potential shareholders alike. This is through a series of mechanisms:

  • Formal announcements– as a London Stock Exchange (LSE) AIM listed company, we make all statutory announcements through the LSE’s regulatory news service (RNS). A full RNS feed is maintained on our investor area (see below). Tribal reports formally to shareholders by the publication of its annual and half-yearly financial statements.
  • Analyst and investor presentations– the Executive Directors present the half-yearly and annual results to institutional investors, analysts and the media. The presentations are available on the investor section of the website.
    Since the announcement of the new strategy by the late Ian Bowles in 2016, institution investor and analyst presentations after half-yearly and annual results have been well received.  Since that time, sentiment has become increasingly positive as Tribal has delivered in accordance with the new strategy.
  • AGM– Notification of the date of the AGM is sent to shareholders at least 21 working days in advance of the meeting. Details are set out in the Notice of Meeting. The Directors (and the auditor) are available at the AGM to answer questions, both during the course of the meeting, and informally afterwards. All details, including previous AGM communications, can be found on the Investor Announcements and the Investor Documents pages.
  • News releases– in addition to statutory announcements, we use RNS Reach to present regular business news and updates to shareholders. We also have a full news services available on the Tribal website.
  • Interactive sessions– Tribal’s Executive Directors arrange regular (six monthly) face to face sessions with any interested shareholders or potential shareholders, and are also available for updates at any point in the year. See contact details below.
  • Investor focused micro-site– we maintain a full section on the main Tribal website for investors. This includes the Financial Calendar and real-time RNS announcements; the latest investor documents, presentations and reportsshare information and share dealing interactive feeds; this corporate governance statement; a full list of investor related contacts.
  • LSE Profile– we also maintain a profile on the London Stock Exchange Issuer services website.
  • Investor Email– we also manage an investor email account for any direct queries - investors@tribalgroup.com.

Contact with major shareholders is principally maintained by the Executive Directors, who ensure that their views are communicated to the Board as a whole. The Chair is also available to discuss governance and other matters directly with major shareholders. At every Board meeting, the Board is provided with the latest brokers’ reports and a summary of the contents of any meetings with shareholders. The Board considers that the provision of these documents is a practical and efficient way for both the Chair and Senior Independent Director to be informed of major shareholders’ opinions on governance and strategy and to understand any shareholder issues and concerns.

If you would like to know more about Tribal as a shareholder, or potential shareholder, please contact us through our investors email address and we will put you in touch with one of our Executive Directors.

Wider Stakeholder and Social Responsibilities

As well as our shareholders, we regularly engage with the wider stakeholder group including employees, customers and regulators. Our engagement activities and ability to build trust, is described here

In addition, we take our Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) seriously and encourage a proactive and positive attitude towards CSR across the company. 

Tribal empowers educators and we are proud to support an industry that changes people’s lives and contributes so much to society. We believe in fairness, integrity, and ‘doing the right thing’. This means we treat our people well, and that we expect to give something back to the communities where we work, through our charitable activities.

Previously, we had set-up and managed our own charitable body - the Tribal Foundation. This has contributed to and supported numerous projects within the UK and globally, with the stated aim of widening the opportunity of education to those who are in anyway disadvantaged. The Foundation has contributed over £600,000 to a variety of programmes.

From 2018 onwards, we have decided to adopt a different approach to encourage wider employee participation. We will continue to run Give As You Earn (GAYE) schemes, including the option of company matched contributions, to allow employees to contribute to their chosen charities, but we now also allow every member of staff to take a day's paid leave to support a charity of their choice. This has been actively promoted and team-wide participation has been encouraged. All such endeavours are then presented in the company newsletter, Tribal Talk.

In addition, new charity teams are being established across the company, representing the major regions we have staff baed in, with the goal of annually selecting a charity to support financially, and with the employee charity days.

Risk Management

Our Risk Management Framework applies consistently across all Tribal offices and regions, and is managed at Operational and Corporate levels. Risk management activity is overseen by the Chief Executive Officer, with the support of the Executive Management Team and Global Risk Manager (see below)

Our framework enables us to remain vigilant to all known and emerging risks and opportunities. Effective risk management supports informed decision making; enables us to minimise impact from unforeseen internal or external events; and allows us to fully exploit emerging opportunities. Our objectives for risk management are to:

  • Identify, measure, control and report on business risk that may undermine the achievement of objectives, both strategically and operationally, through appropriate analysis and assessment criteria
  • Effectively allocate effort and resources for the management of key and emerging risks
  • Build an accurate picture at the highest level of the key risks facing our business, and use this information to drive business improvements in a considered and coordinated way
  • Support and develop our reputation as a well governed and trusted organisation
  • Minimise costs and drive efficiencies in the way that pervasive risk is controlled across the business
  • Identify weaknesses in, and opportunities to improve, our business processes

Risk Registers

At the Operational level, risks are recorded and managed within teams or projects as required and in line with the Risk Management Framework.

At the Corporate level, a risk register is held for every line of business, including central support functions. These registers record risks pertinent to the line of business. Above these, there is a single central risk register for Group Significant risks, which records the top risks to the business.

Risk registers are reviewed on a quarterly basis which supports the escalation of any risks with a high residual impact, or potentially pervasive risks, to a higher level risk register as appropriate. This process is overseen by the Global Risk Manager.

 

Risk Appetite

The Board determines the amount and type of risk that Tribal is willing to take on in pursuit of its strategic objectives. The Board’s appetite for risk is influenced by various key factors including (but not limited to) the overall economic, regulatory and operational landscape in which we operate.

The Executive Management Team and Global Risk Manager monitor and advise the Board of these key influences which enables the Board to adjust the amount of risk that Tribal takes on. Risk tolerance may, by business choice, differ in different parts of the company.

The Framework defines how risks should be handled depending on their severity level.

Review and Assurance

Risk registers are updated as and when required.  A full review is undertaken quarterly. The highest rated risks are presented to the Board every quarter by the CEO. Every six months the Board is presented with the detailed risk registers for each line of business.

 

Find our how we manage the Tribal business using our Dynamic Management Framework

Dynamic Management Framework