Happy New Year

Last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And this year’s words await another voice.

In 2020 Danes learned to say ‘samfundssind’ that as such do not have a English translation yet it speaks to how we are supposed to behave in ‘the spirit of the greater good’.

Now ‘Greater good’ was defined by Aristotle in terms of a communally shared happiness, whose key constituents were wisdom, virtue and pleasure. Unfortunately 2020 was the year where wisdom was replaced by politics and pleasure and virtue was all about promoting the individual greatness of our politicians.

A new year is a powerful occasion where we can reflect on our learnings from the past and our hopes for the future.

Let us in 2021 listen to the wisdom of our health care workers repeating that the root course of a stretched health care system is weak management, poor political prioritization and lack of willingness to listen to the front line for decades. Not Covid-19.

And I hope for all in the travel and hospitality industry that wisdow will prove that; it is not who we are or where we are – it is how we behave where we are. This will also benefit our climate.

Let 2021 be the year where we hear the voice of wisdom that provides facts – not the voice of politicians that spread fear.

At Lanell & Stenfeldt Capital 2020 was a very good year with a record result and a strong development in the portfolio companies.

And in 2021 we will prove that wisdom is far better than politics.

‘Schrems II’ to put a rocket on the data protection software market

When the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) invalidated the EU-U.S. Safe Harbor framework in 2015 we could hear there was a clear path for organizations to take to maintain transborder data flows. Safe Harbor was gone, and it was time to use standard contractual clauses (SCCs).

Here five years later, the CJEU made another landmark decision when it invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield agreement with its “Schrems II” ruling. The SCCs remained legally valid, but additional safeguards would be needed for them to still be used.

While the sense of shock isn’t as striking as it was compared to the initial “Schrems” ruling, reality is that privacy professionals have faced a far murkier path following the court’s determination this past summer.

Sure, there are actions in terms of assessing your transfers when you then come and look at the safeguards that might be appropriate, it is now even harder to implement those. It is also less certain what to do. If you are looking at contractual safeguards, for example, organizations only want to negotiate once. The added transaction cost in doing it now and then as one discovers that the standards have changed slightly will be high.

The confusion over the lack of guidance in the days after the court struck down Privacy Shield was a concern for privacy professionals. At Lanell we are monitoring the level of uncertainty that assuaged when the European Data Protection Board published its recommendations for post-“Schrems” data transfers in November. The road ahead may be tenuous for a large number of entities; however, there are steps organizations can take to avoid legal issues down the line.

Consequently, we are at Lanell Equity evaluating companies in the data security industry as organizations will need to look at encryption and pseudonymization as tactics to implement for certain data transfers. For those organizations with a heavier volume of global data flows, it may require a far deeper dive.

Especially organizations that are very dependent on data transfers, now have to look at what it would take to alter things in the next steps, because this is not something that you can change overnight. As companies will begin to realize that this might take them to actually rearchitect their solutions, looking at the impact on services and looking at whether there are actually alternative service providers for them to move to are all things the market will be looking for.

Part of the reexamination will be vetting cloud service providers that act as data processors. The simple advice is for companies to avoid cloud services providers that need to access data in plain text. Providers that need to interact with data in a meaningful way will ultimately need plain text data but finding an infrastructure-as-a-service cloud is one way to comply with the decision. The plain text issue was noteworthy enough for the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) to include a section on the topic in its recommendations.

One of the points the EDPB mentioned in its recommendations is that when an organization needs access to the data in plain text, it is very difficult to have effective safeguards. In fact, if there is an ability for national security agencies or law enforcement agencies to access that data and the organization has the data in plain text, it is very difficult to preclude that.

The “Schrems II” case may have focused primarily on U.S. surveillance laws, but it doesn’t mean everyone else should assure they are not affected: Any entity importing or exporting data to a country where law enforcement has the ability to access exported European data must adhere to the ruling. The EDPB notes it is not just the initial data transfer that needs attention, but also every single transfer afterward. It is also why vetting cloud service providers have become an even more vital practice.

A company might transfer data to a parent organization for administrative purposes and that parent organization might not be subject to these particular laws. However, it is worth noticing that if that parent organization uses a service provider, who in turn uses another service provider, who in turn ends up using a cloud service provider then the decision is suddenly relevant for that company too. And because almost all processing of data, at some stage, ends up with a cloud service provider and therefore the decision is almost universally relevant.

Niels Stenfeldt have already brought this forward to the Danish “EU Business and Regulatory Forum” where he is a special appointed member in the by the Danish Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs in Denmark, Simon Kollerup.

But the goes beyond Europe as another problem may be the legislative chasm between the EU and U.S. Due to the gap between U.S. surveillance laws and the standards in the EU it is hard to hard to imagine an agreement standing up to another legal challenge: There’s a lot of work that need to be done to bring those surveillance laws to the EU standard.

While the future of a Privacy Shield successor may be in doubt, we will see a new iteration thanks to the European Commission’s draft implementation decision that came out in November.

However, the final SCCs will likely not be a one-to-one match of what is currently in the draft decision. If an organization can wait until the final SCCs are unveiled, they are going to be in good shape. But for those data transfers that relied on Privacy Shield, the current SCCs must be used even though they will be reworked once again in short order.

Until then, privacy professionals will have to wait for the day when the revised SCCs come to town. But since the EDPB and EDPS will have to issue their own opinions on the commission’s draft, it is highly unlikely the revamped SCCs will be ready by the conclusion of 2020.

And regardless of when they come, the reworked clauses represent a paradigm shift in transborder data flow, and it will be imperative for organizations in the EU, U.S. and around the world to take notice.

We cannot go back to the situation before ‘Schrems II’ where companies signed SCCs, whether they are the old ones or the new ones, and not think about the broader context of the data flows. And the additional due diligence that is required by the ‘Schrems II’ decision is still going to be necessary for these new SCCs and will grow the underlying data security market substiantially in 2021 and forward.

Boyum IT Solutions to partner with Volpi Capital LLC

Boyum IT Solutions today announced that UK-based Volpi Capital has acquired a majority stake in the company and will become lead investor to power the next phase of the company’s growth.

As part of the transaction, Boyum IT Solutions’ management team will remain in the company with a significant ownership share and will continue to execute the existing strategy, while current investor GRO Capital, who in 2016 acquired 49,9% of the shares, is exiting.

Mikael Boyum, founder and CEO of Boyum IT Solutions looks forward to the collaboration with Volpi Capital and to creating an exciting future for the company, employees and partners”: “GRO Capital saw the strength and potential of Boyum IT Solutions’ business model and organization four years ago. We have highly appreciated their trust in us, and our cooperation has been fantastic. Now, we look forward to continuing to grow even further the business and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Volpi Capital which will strengthen our continued growth plans and business potential”.

Boyum IT Solutions has been on an impressive organic and inorganic growth path, doubling revenues from 2016 to 2020. Today, the company, with 100 employees in 7 global offices, is one of the key players in the global market for manufacturing and logistics software solutions for SAP Business One and is recognized as a strong partner in the SAP ecosystem.

We have established ourselves as the leading supplier of manufacturing and logistics software to those customers who use SAP Business One as an ERP platform globally. With the acquisition of Beas Manufacturing in 2016 and Produmex in 2018, we have scaled further our company across products and geographies. As a Tech focused PE firm and with their international platform with a Pan EU and North American team, Volpi can contribute to realizing our ambitious growth plans, including improving our software solutions, as well as strengthening our global presence,” continues Mikael Boyum.

Volpi has great faith in the macro factors in the ERP market and in Boyum IT Solutions’ strong market position, which is expected to support continued high growth in the company: “Boyum IT Solutions has shown how to create growth through a strong partner focus, technological expertise and a unique way to enable their partner channel. The potential is great for Boyum IT Solutions globally, and we look forward to accelerating their successful business model,” says Marco Sodi, partner at Volpi Capital.

We are very pleased to partner with Mikael and the management team to further build this high growth platform. The company’s’ market-leading position in the industry is based on a customer-oriented corporate culture with highly skilled and dedicated employees who have established strong relationships with partners and end-users. The competent organization combined with a robust and scalable business model, based on unique competencies in product development, high technical standards and efficient routines, are all factors that make Boyum IT Solutions an attractive partner”.

GRO Capital has been very pleased with the journey the past 4 years together with the Boyum team: “Boyum has been an exciting journey for us as well as a very good investment. We have achieved a lot together, and the company is now ready and well positioned for the next stage in its development. Boyum has an outstanding management team and it has been a true pleasure working with them and the rest of the board driving the strategic direction through successful M&A, targeted enablement of the partner network and development of a unique data platform supporting the day-to-day operational decisions”, says Lars Lunde, partner in GRO Capital.

The Chairman and owner of Lanell and Stenfeldt Capital Group, Niels Stenfeldt, will continue as chairman in the new structures.

Why the name Lanell?

I have often been asked, “Why Lanell?”.

When Lanell Innovation was founded back in 2001 we looked for a word that could be used to describe the who we were.

In Denmark, we have always had a very fine tradition in the production of coating paper. In the post-war period, the large Danish publishing house Gyldendal used hand-painted sticky marble paper for its classic writings (J. P. Jacobsen – Martin A. Hansen – Johannes V. Jensen and several others). This marble paper was distinguished by a calm beauty, beautiful colors and a fine fabric effect.

But it was a goal for us in Denmark to reach as far as the industry had come in England and in the USA, Germany and Switzerland, where the vast majority of books were sold in hardcover.

It was new that bookbinders, made of canvas and coating paper, had begun to fall in the audience’s tastes. But it was not so easy to manufacture these by mechanical means. The foreign full volumes were in this respect much easier to deal with, and they were also more solid, we refrained for a long time from producing fiction in full volumes.

However, there were a number of subject and handbooks and many school and textbooks where durability was at least as important. And in addition to canvas, there were excellent materials for such whole bindings, which were both durable and easy to decorate, such as Linson, which is a pure canvas imitation, and a material with the Danish word “Lanell”.

Of these materials, Lanell in particular was interesting because it paved the way for a whole new decoration of bookbinding. You could print everything possible on this material: patterns, photographs, drawings, etc. completely as one can on plain paper or cardboard.

Many associate Mr. Jørgen Jokum Smith with “Lanell”. Together with Otto B. Lindhardt and Ole Wivel, they formed from 1954 the triumvirate that both economically and literary rebuilt Denmark’s largest publisher: Gyldendal. Jokum Smith had as its main areas under him the publisher’s technical departments (book printing and bookbinding), the accounting department, the solid school and textbook department and a children’s book editorial office. To qoute Mr. Wivel: “Everything he touched gained renewed strength. He bought new machines, new fonts, created new, more appealing school-book equipment, and expanded as a children’s book publisher“.

In summary the old Danish word “Lanell” are associated with; solid, renewing strength, innovation, growth, durability, regenerative, powerful and with great coherence.

And those are exactly the same values ​​that this company is built on. Hence Lanell.

One of the most used books in Denmark had Lanell as its binding material in its first published version that still are found in most kitchens today proving its durability.

Gyldendals Store Kogebog – The big Cookbook

Lanell partnering with Wikifactory

Wikifactory is the fastest place on the web to get a physical product made with just a laptop and an internet connection. Zero training and zero configuration required. Wikifactory has a global community of nearly 50,000 engineers, designers, makers and over 100 hardware startups across 190 countries. They’ve made over 2500 products across industries: drones for reforestation, electric vehicles and future tech (hyperloop pods and flying cars), agri-tech solutions, smart furniture and IoT devices, robotics, biotech lab equipment, and most recently medical devices and PPE during Covid-19. Our mission is to reshape the global supply chain.

The idea for Wikifactory came about when the founders worked together on Wikihouse, one of the first ever open source hardware projects. Why stop at a house? Anyone should be able to make anything anywhere. Wikifactory is rethinking manufacturing for the digital age. Building an Internet of Production to match the internet of knowledge. With offices in Madrid and Shenzhen, its team is truly global with four founders from international backgrounds.

The platform includes a 3D Viewer that can visualise more than 30 file formats, a version control drive to manage changes, a documentation system and even social functionalities including comments, views, shares, likes, issues tracking for feedback, and forums for debate. It also has a built-in publishing tool for blogs by users into which our community can not only publish A/V content but also CAD files. Wikifactory was founded in 2018 by Tom Salfield, Christina Rebel, Maximilian Kampik and Nicolai Pietersen.

Lanell and Niels Stenfeldt is proud to add Wikifactory to its holdings portfolio and look forward to jointly grow together. www.wikifactory.com