Category: Mergers & Acquisitions

Broadcom’s Acquisition of VMware Sparks Unprecedented Chaos in the Virtualization World | Blog

Broadcom’s staggering US$61 billion acquisition of VMware in January marked one of the largest technology deals ever. Broadcom’s reputation for radical cost-cutting and focus on short-term shareholder value following acquisitions has raised concerns about VMware’s future direction. Read on for recommendations for enterprises, service providers, and competitors to deal with the aftermath of the acquisition of VMware.

Connect with us to discuss this acquisition further.

Broadcom’s acquisition of VMware has ignited worries that Broadcom’s aggressive cost-slashing and financial optimization measures will harm VMware’s reputation as a trusted partner and hinder its ability to innovate.

Let’s look at Broadcom’s troubling past track record of taking over companies and then selling off non-core assets:

  • Broadcom acquires CA Technologies: After Broadcom bought CA Technologies for US$18.9 billion in 2018, it sold the software company’s Veracode platform the following year for US $950 million and intermittently laid off CA Technologies employees. Moreover, CA Technologies’ mainframe business customers regularly expressed dissatisfaction post-acquisition, citing a lack of client focus, with many looking for a way out. Everest Group followed the acquisition of CA Technologies in detail in our blog, Broadcom, CA Technologies, and the Infrastructure Stack Collapse
  • Broadcom buys Symantec’s enterprise software business: Following its purchase of Symantec’s enterprise software business for US$10.7 billion in 2019, Broadcom sold Symantec’s cybersecurity services business to Accenture and the enterprise consulting group to HCL Technologies in 2020

Broadcom might be treading a similar path with VMware. As its acquisition history suggests, Broadcom’s actions will likely be drastic and swift. Within only a month, Broadcom has already created worrying disruptions, posing serious concerns for VMware clients and partners as outlined below:

VMWare blog

A brief history of VMware and Broadcom

Founded in 1998, VMware pioneered virtualization technology, allowing multiple virtual machines to run on a single server, eventually creating the multi-billion cloud market. Over the years, VMware grew its product offerings, such as vSphere, ESXi, and Workstation, to become a dominant cloud and infrastructure player. VMware created multiple software solutions for data center management, networking, security, and the digital workplace. The company has maintained a reputation for innovation, working closely with its service partners and creating a positive client experience.

Established in 1991, Broadcom initially specialized in developing semiconductors,  focusing on communication and networking chips. The company expanded over the years into many other areas, including security, infrastructure storage and management, and industrial solutions. In recent years, Broadcom consolidated its portfolio and now reports revenue in two areas – semiconductor solutions and infrastructure software. Broadcom is known for its aggressive acquisition strategy and focus on financial returns, often raising concerns about its commitment to product innovation and long-term support.

VMware and Broadcom merger leaves enterprise CIOs flummoxed

Since its launch over a decade ago, VMware has held massive dominance in cloud computing, with nearly all enterprises licensing its virtualization technology. Its slowdown started when the giant hyperscalers, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, developed public cloud offerings with multiple advantages beyond VMware’s in private cloud settings.

However, most enterprises eventually realized that both public and private clouds had their advantages and drawbacks and settled for a hybrid environment to leverage the strengths of each cloud type.

  1. Enterprise recommendations

CIOs who had settled on hybrid cloud strategies have been left with pressing questions by Broadcom’s acquisition of VMware. They must decide whether to stay with VMware, immediately look for alternatives, or wait and watch what peers do. This also allows organizations to reevaluate service providers’ innovative problem-solving abilities or rebalance hybrid cloud portfolios.

While the answers to these critical questions will depend on their specific situations, all enterprises should take the following steps:

    • Reexamine the hybrid cloud portfolio mix – Most enterprises today have an ineffective blend of workloads on public and private clouds, leading to low-value realization. Enterprises should first reevaluate workloads and create a strategic migration and modernization plan
    • Assess the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) needVMware and Citrix have been the leading VDI vendors despite the technology’s performance challenges. Fortunately, managing the VMware disruption in the VDI space should be relatively straightforward given the low penetration of VDIs among employees and a flurry of VDI-as-a-service offerings from BigTechs such as Azure Virtual Desktop, AWS WorkSpaces, Citrix DaaS, and specialist players like Anunta, Dizzion, and Parallels
    • Evaluate the implications of staying with or leaving VMware While each organization should undertake a thorough cost-benefit-impact analysis, they should consider the following factors:
      • Expect an increase in total cost of ownership (TOC): Broadcom’s move from perpetual licenses to membership-based pricing will likely result in higher TOC
      • Consider the impact on customers engaged with Dell: Organizations engaged with Dell as the VMware reseller will see an even higher price impact since Broadcom eliminated Dell’s preferred pricing with VMware
      • Recognize the cost of change: Most enterprises have been using VMware software for a long time. Shifting away will require a significant transformation with upfront investment, talent management, and business continuity planning
    • Engage actively with service provider partners – Most enterprises have adopted VMware solutions through third-party service providers. Clients should accept their help to understand the alternatives, advantages, limitations, and integration risks and engage them to create innovative options.
  1. Service provider recommendations

Service providers play a critical role as the conduit between technology providers and enterprises in helping provide guidance and the next steps to navigate this uncertainty.

While service provider partners are also grappling with sudden, unexpected terminations of partner agreements with VMware, they must act quickly to determine the best step for their enterprise customers. Delaying and watching is not an option, and we recommend the following actions:

    • Understand and evaluate all alternatives – A thorough understanding of all available alternatives to VMware is the first step to retaining credibility with enterprises. Nutanix, Microsoft, Citrix, Scale Computing, and ComputerVault are options for virtualization, while Microsoft Azure virtual desktop, Amazon workspaces, and Citrix workspace are contenders for VDI. Not to be forgotten, hyperscalers, including AWS, Azure, GCP, Oracle, and IBM, also offer virtual private cloud and full-stack solutions
    • Refine and accelerate hybrid cloud go-to-market – Every cloud has a silver lining, and the VMware uncertainty has created an opportunity to add new energy to a stabilized cloud go-to-market and messaging. Many enterprises claim a lack of service provider cloud innovation over the last two or three years, and this is an opportunity to start new conversations and deepen relationships
    • Push Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) offerings – DaaS or VDI-as-a-service offerings have been available from vendors, including hyperscalers, BigTechs, service providers, and specialists, but haven’t taken off. Despite the many DaaS benefits, enterprises have shown interest spikes but lacked an external stimulus to kickstart large-scale transition. The VMware frenzy could be a catalyst for the transition to DaaS
    • Collaborate with Broadcom without biases – The sudden and shocking actions by Broadcom have led to many preconceived negative perceptions. However, service providers should be open to what Broadcom will offer as it aims to set a level playing field for VMware’s partners. Keeping an open mind will allow providers to leap ahead of their peers on VMware partner status. VMware’s huge client base cannot be ignored despite the current upheaval
  1. Competitor recommendations

Since VMware has shown its belly to competition, it’s now a mad rush. VMware’s competitors have a rare opportunity to grab its clients, potentially giving them considerable future revenue. Competitors understand this and have launched a scathing attack on VMware through email and social media campaigns, as well as direct outreach. While the desire to capture a larger market share is understandable, competitors should take a more balanced and pointed approach for higher conversion rates. We recommend the following strategies:

    • Create a structured attacker strategy – Going after as many clients as possible might sound attractive but is most likely inefficient. Identify a long list of accounts to target, prioritize them based on relevance, and create dedicated teams with established Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
    • Build deeper account intelligence to win more clients – Winning new clients requires a more nuanced approach beyond the marketing tactics to connect with distressed clients initially. Understanding the specific context of each potential client, including pain points, decision-making stakeholders, existing software, integration challenges, etc., can significantly increase deal conversion rates
    • Maximize channel partner leverage – Develop joint attacker strategies in collaboration with service providers who often understand clients’ needs better. Aggressively expand partnerships with service providers

We will continue to follow this space and watch how Broadcom’s acquisition of VMware unfolds. If you would like to discuss this further, reach out to [email protected] or [email protected].

Catch our upcoming webinar, Engineering Services in 2024: The Market Outlook and Commercial Trends, for insights into the pricing outlook, commercial dynamics, market attractiveness, and evolving buyer expectations for engineering services.

Teleperformance Proposes to Acquire Majorel: Global Titans Continue Their Unstoppable Run in the Customer Experience Management Industry | Blog

Teleperformance, a global leader in the Customer Experience Management (CXM) industry, has announced its proposal to acquire Majorel, another large rival in the industry. This move is set to reinforce Teleperformance’s position as a dominant force in the market and expand its reach even further. With both companies known for their excellence in CXM services, this acquisition has the potential to deliver an even greater level of innovation to clients worldwide. Read on for more details on the impact of this deal on the CXM industry.

While there is increasing appreciation for the strategic impact to businesses of delivering great customer experiences, a large part of the market is still managing Customer Experience (CX) as it has always done, which is to drive down costs and focus on operational efficiencies. Consequently, Customer Experience Management (CXM) provider margins tend to be lower than in other Business Process Services (BPS) segments, and it is not surprising that in the current uncertain economic environment, providers are focusing on tried and tested strategies such as consolidation to deliver on growth objectives.

Teleperformance further augments its leadership position by scale

The latest in the wave of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the CXM industry is the largest CXM services provider, Teleperformance, announcing its intention to acquire Majorel, another sizable competitor, for a total consideration of €3bn. Subject to regulatory approvals, the combined entity will result in revenues of more than €10.2bn and EBITDA of more than €2.2bn if it closes as expected between Q4 2023 and Q1 2024, resulting in Teleperformance achieving its 2025 revenue goal of €10bn two years in advance. The merged entity will be the largest CXM provider both in terms of revenues and FTEs, with nearly half a million employees worldwide.

With Concentrix’s recent announcement to acquire Webhelp, these two CXM behemoths will be more than twice the size of their next largest competitor, Foundever, which itself resulted from a merger of two significant entities (SYKES and Sitel Group). Given their global reach and ability to cater to almost all regions and languages, they will naturally be in consideration by any global buyer of these services that is looking to consolidate its provider portfolio and work with fewer but more strategic partners.

What this means for the CXM and BPS industry

As we have mentioned in our recent blog, we are seeing the rise of global Titans in the CXM industry. While this might mean less choice in service providers or strategic transformation partners for global buyers, it will also lead to cost synergies, operational efficiencies, and enhanced digital capabilities. Adding more scale allows these providers to make more concerted investments in a space which is already seeing the entry of Big Tech and hyperscalers such as Microsoft and Google into CX technology. A greater focus on innovation by these Titans will result in better products, solutions, and services in the industry.

The global outsourced CX market is a highly fragmented one, with the 10 largest providers holding a total of ~30% share of the $100 billion+ market and hundreds if not thousands of other providers making up the remaining 70%. In addition, our estimates put penetration of this market between 30-35%, indicating significant room for growth in the future. Therefore, smaller providers can continue to thrive if they are successfully able to articulate and deliver upon differentiated value propositions such as offering superior products and services, aligning more attentively to their clients’ needs, or specializing in niche areas, whether that is in a particular industry, region, buyer size, or service line.

Within the broader BPS environment, the combined entity of Teleperformance and Majorel will have a stronger Trust and Safety (T&S) portfolio and will become one of the top three T&S providers (with Accenture and TELUS International) in terms of revenues. This, along with deep digital CX expertise, Teleperformance’s recruitment process outsourcing and finance & accounting services, and Majorel’s vertical BPO solutions in banking, insurance, and retail industries, make the new entity a force to be reckoned with in the BPS world, becoming one of the top three providers by revenues in BPS. However, it will continue to remain a CXM specialist primarily as more than 80% of its revenues will be CXM-oriented, at least for now. It will be interesting to see if the combined entity will accelerate the growth of its non-CXM revenues to become known as a broader-based BPS provider in the future.

What to expect going forward

Recent economic headwinds have provided an excellent opportunity for M&A in this market as valuations are once again becoming attractive for a lot of providers. With an enormous push towards digital CX capabilities, service providers are looking aggressively to plug capability gaps, and firms that can help them achieve these objectives are becoming hot acquisition targets. We expect further M&A activity in the next 12-18 months, both big (scale-focused) and small (capability-focused).

However, it will be a mistake for providers to allow M&A and, subsequently, integration activity to distract them from focusing on how generative AI such as ChatGPT can be applied in the contact center environment. This disruptive technology is already showing great promise and has the potential to level the playing field between big and small providers if leveraged responsibly. Despite believing strongly that there will always be a need for human interaction and involvement within CXM, the contact center of today should be quite different from the contact center of the near future, as early as two years from now.

To discuss global customer experience management topics, contact Shirley Hung [email protected], Sharang Sharma [email protected], or Aishwarya Barjatya [email protected].

You can access our CXM research coverage and also attend our LinkedIn Live session, Delivering CXM Services From Africa: Who, Where, Why, And How to learn why Africa has become an ideal option for global customer experience management.

Concentrix Acquires Webhelp: A Game Changer in the Global Customer Experience Management (CXM) Landscape | Blog

The combination of Concentrix and Webhelp will create a global customer experience management (CXM) titan that can significantly shape the industry’s future. Let’s explore the benefits and other implications of this mega deal.

The recent announcement of Concentrix’s planned acquisition of Webhelp in a US$4.8 billion deal is a major milestone in the growing trend of mergers and acquisitions in the CXM industry over recent years.

With an estimated pro forma 2023 annual revenue of US$9.8 billion across multiple businesses, including CXM, trust and safety, and legal services, the combined entity will emerge as a global service powerhouse with the potential to significantly shape the CXM industry.

Key drivers of the acquisition

The strategic benefits of this acquisition include:

  • Stronger operational presence beyond North America: Webhelp has a strong presence in sales, marketing, and payment services across Europe, Latin America, and Africa. With this acquisition, Concentrix will be able to strengthen its operations beyond North America in these geographies. Concentrix is further set to bolster its extensive operations in the Asia-Pacific region by leveraging Webhelp’s existing operational presence and partnerships with regional CXM providers in China and Japan through joint ventures with Kingwisoft and Telenet, respectively. This will result in the combined entity having a diversified revenue contribution across the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific
  • Enhanced delivery capabilities in Europe, Latin America, and Africa: Webhelp adds more than 25 new countries to Concentrix delivery locations, including Denmark, Greece, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Madagascar, Peru, and South Africa, thus, strengthening Concentrix’s delivery presence in Europe and Latin America, as well as helping it establish an African footprint. This collaboration will establish a robust and well-balanced global footprint, which can attract global enterprises looking to partner with service providers who can offer the right shoring mix to their end customers across geographies
  • Varied customers: Webhelp’s customer base is primarily situated outside of North America leading to limited client overlap with Concentrix. With this acquisition, Concentrix is set to gain around 1,000 new clients from Webhelp, consisting of over 25 Fortune Global 500 clients, and more than 200 clients from emerging economies. This will significantly increase the combined entity’s client base to approximately 2,000 clients, of which 155 are Fortune Global 500 clients and 320 are from the new economy sector. By expanding and diversifying its client base, Concentrix can increase revenues, broaden service offerings, and gain economies of scale, while its clients also will benefit from access to a wider range of resources and expertise
  • Operational synergies: Combining Concentrix and Webhelp will enable the sharing and cross-selling of digital capabilities, including Concentrix’s Catalyst platform and ServiceSource’s expertise in the fast growth-technology (FGT) segment, as well as Webhelp’s Lead Factory and consulting firm Gobeyond Partners. This will allow the combined entity to offer clients high-value services, addressing their needs more comprehensively and efficiently. Moreover, the partnership is expected to broaden the global reach of Concentrix Catalyst and accelerate its expansion by leveraging Webhelp’s engineering know-how in Europe and Latin America. Sharing resources also can lead to operational efficiencies, enabling the merged entity to enhance profitability and market competitiveness. Expected cost synergy benefits will be US$75 million in the first year after the closing of the transaction and will reach a minimum of US$120 million (after accounting for investments) by the third year
  • Expansion of other service lines: Concentrix can expand its trust and safety service lines by utilizing Webhelp’s delivery footprint and in-house solutions, such as Contentus.AI for more efficient moderation, Navigatus for enhancing work quality, and Moderatus for detecting and removing false news and hate speech. In addition, Concentrix can leverage Webhelp’s expertise in legal services, including legal claims management and Know Your Customer (KYC) services, to further expand its Business Process Services (BPS) portfolio

Key considerations

  • Integration challenges: Varying technology systems and processes, as well as the difficulty of integrating and managing data, can potentially hinder the Webhelp and Concentrix union. Bringing the respective customer service models and training programs into alignment also can pose challenges. Furthermore, integrating human resources and payroll systems, benefits, and compensation programs can be complex and will require careful planning and execution. However, contrary to other recent CXM acquisitions, we do not foresee a significant culture clash challenge between Concentrix and Webhelp
  • The emergence of a new category of global CXM Titans: In recent years, the CXM market has witnessed a significant trend towards consolidation, with several high-profile mergers such as Sitel Group’s merger with SYKES to form what is now known as Foundever and Comdata Group’s merger with Grupo Konecta. The upcoming collaboration between Concentrix and Webhelp is poised to contribute to this consolidation trend, with the combined entity expected to control a considerable market share of roughly 6-8%. Similar to the super-major formation era of the late 1990s and early 2000s in the oil and gas industry, Concentrix, Foundever, and Teleperformance are poised to form a new category of global CXM Titans that have the potential to dominate the market due to their extensive resources, expertise, and global reach. Their emergence validates the growing appetite for comprehensive CXM solutions and the need for providers who can meet these demands on a large scale
  • Competition and opportunities for other providers and specialized players: The consolidation of these two forces may create challenges for other CXM players who might struggle to compete with the resources and scale of the merged entity. However, this also could create opportunities for providers to thrive with tailored offerings targeted at specific customer service areas or industry sectors, such as IGT Solutions and ResultsCX with their focused offerings for travel and healthcare, respectively

The announcement of Concentrix’s acquisition of Webhelp has generated a significant buzz in the CXM industry. Certainly, we expect this pending acquisition to fuel more CXM market consolidation, which may potentially limit buyers’ choices for transformation-oriented strategic partnerships.

Despite these concerns, the Concentrix and Webhelp combination creates a formidable CXM force that will likely shape the industry’s trajectory for years to come. Monitoring the impact of this collaboration on the CXM landscape as well as watching other market players respond to the ongoing consolidation trend will be fascinating. Who will be the next global CXM titan to join their ranks?

To discuss global customer experience management topics, contact Shirley Hung [email protected], Sharang Sharma [email protected], or Divya Baweja, [email protected].

And watch our LinkedIn Live event, Delivering CXM Services from Africa: Who, Where, Why, and How, to learn why Africa has become an ideal option for global customer experience management.

Adobe Acquires Figma – Showcasing Its Intent to Be at the Forefront of the Design and Prototyping Economy

In what can be termed as the biggest deal in the emerging design and prototyping market, Adobe announced on September 15 that it will buy Figma for $20 billion. Adobe, which has a market capitalization of $144.67 billion as of that date, will complete the deal in half cash and half stock. Read on for our analysis of what this means for these players and the segment.  

Did we see this coming?

With the adoption of design and prototyping tools in software development picking up immensely post-pandemic, we anticipated mergers and acquisitions in this space. But seeing a design pioneer acquire the game changer in the design space was unexpected.

Adobe was one of the first movers to identify the design space demand and build products such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and XD for designers, helping them gain significant market share. The pandemic changed the needs, demand patterns, and design stakeholders’ ways of work. Adobe could not keep up with this change which led to a slowdown in its growth. Figma – a relatively late entrant in the design space – came in as a game changer and emerged as a major competitor for Adobe.

This acquisition reminds us of Meta’s acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014, which enabled Meta to cement its unshakable dominant presence in the instant messaging space by acquiring its biggest competitor.

Figma’s growth story

Figma’s rise to the top has been nothing short of marvelous. This rocket ship launched in 2012 and had its public release in September 2016. Fast forward six years, Figma will now join forces with another major player in this space – Adobe.

Analyzing the details reveals the following three strengths that led to Figma’s rise:

  • Leadership – Figma’s leadership understood design and designers’ associated pain points. They had a vision for making design accessible to all.
  • Addressing evolving customer needs – To make design collaborative, Figma created all the functionalities needed to build an interface design and packed it into a browser-based user interface. Designers now could be based anywhere and work on the same project.
  • Freemium model – Figma’s core functionalities remained free to use, attracting thousands of early adopters to the platform. Good feedback coupled with Figma’s user-centricity ensured a sharp rise in users.

Why we think Figma is the missing piece of the puzzle for Adobe

This acquisition offers several areas for synergy that can propel the combined entity’s growth in the design space.

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What’s in this for Adobe

The deal will provide the following benefits for Adobe:

  • Access to Figma’s customer base: Figma has seen immense growth in its user base in the last two years with roughly 4 million users at present, including tech majors such as Github, Dropbox, and Twitter. Adobe can leverage these connections to augment the growth of its other offerings
  • Expansion of designer and developer community: Adobe has built a very strong designer community over the years to strengthen the design knowledge base to facilitate peer learning. The addition of Figma’s designer and developer community will further boost the collaborative mindset for design advancements
  • Access to innovative pool of talent: Figma as a brand has revolutionized the ways of working for all stakeholders in the design process. Adobe can collaborate with the innovative minds behind this revolution to take its design portfolio to the next level
  • Coverage of end-to-end functionality in design lifecycle: Figma’s special focus on the brainstorming and whiteboarding phase of the design lifecycle with the launch of FigJam will add to Adobe’s capabilities to address product ideation activities. Figma’s offerings will augment Adobe’s design capabilities as well

Implications for the design and prototyping market

Competing design tool vendors – This acquisition puts Adobe and Figma at the front of the pack. They can now boast functionalities spanning across the entire value chain along with a significant user base and customer list. What this means for competitors is that they will have to rely on strong differentiation propositions to create a niche for themselves. We anticipate that the competitors will focus on small and medium enterprises to drive differentiation.

Enterprises – In their quest to standardize and scale design processes across all product teams, enterprises tend to opt for tools that offer end-to-end design lifecycle functionality. This acquisition seems to be in the right direction as enterprises will now have a one-stop design solution.

Service providers – This move will unquestionably facilitate creating the largest base of designers operating in the Adobe plus Figma ecosystem. Demand for these skill sets will only go up from here. We anticipate service providers will ramp up their designer arsenal inorganically and step up on their partnership with Adobe plus Figma to offer design services for enterprises.

Things to look out for

While Dylan Field, CEO and co-founder of Figma, has stressed that Adobe is deeply committed to keeping Figma operating autonomously, seeing how the integration shapes up will be interesting. Adobe can take lessons from Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub which shows that large technology companies can successfully acquire smaller players but still retain the core value proposition.

In line with this, we will also watch for potential changes in the following areas:

  • Product strategies: Adobe has similar offerings such as Adobe XD that overlap with Figma in many aspects. They will need to make alterations and updates in their value proposition and go-to-market approach to avoid cannibalization.
  • Commercial model: The freemium model is one of the prime contributors to Figma’s large user base but the Adobe suite has limited freemium models. We will look for any commercial model changes that may result from having the two under the same umbrella.

As the market evolves, competitors will need to make strong moves to create spaces for themselves. Adobe’s acquisition of Figma may set the stage for additional mergers and acquisitions to pay attention to.

Stay tuned for our updates on this fast-growing space of design and prototyping tools. To share your thoughts, please contact Swati Ganesh, [email protected], and Ankit Nath, [email protected].

Majorel and Sitel Group® Merger Would Create a CXM Behemoth – Deal Continues Unabated M&A Activity in the Customer Experience Management Industry

The potential merger between Majorel Group Luxembourg S.A. (Majorel) and Sitel Group® would create a CXM colossus and firmly put the combined entity in the top three providers of these services. Read on to learn about the synergies between the companies and what all the recent M&A activity means for the Customer Experience Management  industry.

If approved, fusing the two organizations would create a new publicly-listed firm headquartered in Luxembourg, trading on Euronext Amsterdam. The new entity would have more than US$6.4 billion in revenues and 240,000-plus employees, creating a “Big Three” in the Customer Experience Management industry along with Concentrix and Teleperformance. 

With both firms registering an impressive 30%+ growth in 2021, it will be interesting to see how the merger synergies help the new entity chart future growth. Potential growth drivers include:

  • Scale – The combined entity will have a scale of 240,000+ FTEs in 55 countries and 300+ sites, delivering services in more than 70 languages worldwide. It will have a global reach with 1,000+ clients across many industries and geographies, with particularly deep expertise in the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI), technology and Fast Growth Tech (FGT), and telecom sectors
  • Markets – While the combined entity will be global, it can leverage both parent firms’ strong presence in the Americas and Europe markets. Sitel Group’s client portfolio in North America, UK, France, Nordics, and Asia-Pacific (APAC), catered through delivery sites in Latin America (LATAM) and Asia, complements Majorel’s clientele in LATAM, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Benelux, and Italy with nearshore delivery from Eastern Europe and Africa. This might also lead both players to sever regional partnerships now that their combined geographic footprint covers most regions
  • Capabilities – Both Majorel and Sitel Group have powerful CX, digital, and consulting capabilities. With the acquisition of SYKES by Sitel Group® in August 2021, the latter strengthened its automation and digital marketing capabilities, which could supplement Majorel’s suite of vertical-specific solutions, especially for the BFSI and e-commerce segments. Sitel Group’s extensive talent management practices through Sitel® MAX (My Associate Experience) and MAXhubs also will positively contribute to the new entity’s cloud-based, remote working model, supported by Majorel’s several multilingual hubs in Europe and Africa
  • Clients – Majorel’s subsidiary for start-ups, majUP, is expected to plug the gaps in Sitel Group’s Small and Medium Business (SMB) portfolio and would enhance the combined entity’s ability to cater to potential unicorns and hyper-scalers, especially in Europe
  • Integration experience – Both firms have a positive track record of acquisitions and integrations, especially with Sitel Group acquiring SYKES recently and Majorel purchasing smaller firms such as Mayen, junokai, and IST Networks in 2021 

M&A frenzy 

This latest deal continues the spate of big mergers and acquisitions in the CXM industry over the past year, in addition to Sitel Group buying SYKES. Webhelp purchased Dynamicall in March 2021, OneLink in July 2021, and Grupo Services in June 2022. TTEC bought Avtex in April 2021, and Concentrix acquired PK in December 2021. Comdata Group announced a merger with Konecta in April 2022.

Let’s take a look at the combined impact on the customer experience management industry at large:

  • Accelerated digitalization – The investment, from both a delivery and technology perspective, required to deliver CX and remain competitive in the industry has now increased, creating a potential barrier to entry for smaller providers
  • Increased supplier consolidation – With buyers looking for supplier consolidation post-pandemic, global providers such as Teleperformance, Concentrix, Sitel Group, Webhelp, and others are in a sweet spot as buyers want to work with fewer providers with more global and comprehensive capabilities. A larger footprint of capabilities helps ensure that bigger providers are top of mind in an ever-competitive industry
  • Smaller players find their niche – The fragmented CXM market comprises several specialist providers that continuously innovate and redefine themselves to stay competitive and grab a share of the US$300+ billion global CXM spend (comprising both outsourced and in-house operations by enterprises). These niche providers include Arise, a CXM provider for virtual delivery; GlowTouch, a women-owned services provider with a focus on impact sourcing; and [24]7.ai, a conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) leader

We are excited to watch what the marriage of these two giants will bring to the customer experience management industry. Some concerns exist around the timing of the integration being so close on the heels of the SYKES acquisition, as well as buyers having less choice for transformation-oriented strategic partnerships. Despite these issues, this proposed merger, without a doubt, would create a global CXM leader with the ability to shape the customer experience management industry for years to come.

Please reach out to us to discuss this proposed merger and changes in the CXM market.

You can also attend our LinkedIn Live session, Who is Leading Customer Experience Management (CXM) Services in Europe?,  to learn the results of our recently completed PEAK Matrix® assessment showcasing our latest CXM research in the EMEA region.

Konecta-Comdata Merger Creates a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Giant – What Does it Mean for the CXM Market?

The planned merger announced last month between Konecta, the leading provider of Spanish-speaking Customer Experience solutions, with Italy-based customer management provider Comdata will create the sixth-largest player by revenue in the customer experience Management (CXM) BPO sector. This consolidation will intensify competition in the attractive CXM market, with the combined entity commanding close to €2 billion in revenues and €300 million in EBITDA. Read on to find out what this big deal will mean.

Creation of a global champion

Comdata

Global CXM provider Comdata offers end-to-end management solutions (acquisition, retention, customer service, technical support, and credit collection) in 30 languages across four continents and 21 countries with its network of 50,000-plus agents. Headquartered in Milan, it served more than 670 clients in 2021, generating revenue of approximately €980 million.

Konecta

Konecta, acquired by Pacheco together with the company’s management team in 2019, is a leading tech-enabled end-to-end CX BPO player in the Spanish-speaking markets. It has successfully integrated different companies such as the Brazilian Uranet and the Spanish Rockethall group, reinforcing the company’s leadership in Artificial Intelligence, digital marketing, and big data solutions. In 2021, it generated revenue and EBITDA of approximately €918 million and €148 million, respectively.

Combined entity

Subject to approval by authorities, the merger is expected in the third quarter of 2022, creating a global CXM leader capable of providing the “best shoring solution” to local, regional, and global clients in 30-plus languages across industries such as finance and insurance, technology, telco, retail and e-commerce, utilities, and healthcare.

The combined entity will be headquartered in Madrid (Spain), jointly chaired by the CEOs of Konecta and Comdata. It will serve more than 500 large corporations across Europe and America, leveraging the expertise of 130,000-plus employees. According to a statement by the companies, “the new group has a solid financial structure and will take advantage of its position in Spain, Latin America, Italy, and France to deploy all its commercial and operational capacity in its strategic markets. In addition, it will have additional capabilities to fuel its growth in the North American market and throughout Europe.”

Key drivers of the merger

The advantages of this deal are:

  • Expansion in Latin American and Spanish markets: The combined entity will become the market leader in Spain and Italy with a strong presence in Latin American domestic markets such as Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Guatemala, Argentina, and Chile. It will have over 500 large corporate clients in Europe and Latin America. The new company will enjoy the advantage of Konecta’s strong dominance in the Spanish market, where Konecta has been aggressively expanding in the past few years, especially by acquiring four different Spanish companies that were part of the Rockethall Group in 2020. In these markets, the joint company will have a significant role in telecom, BFSI, utilities and energy, the consumer goods sector, and several big tech and new economy global brands
  • Enhanced delivery capabilities in Latin America: Labor-cost pressures, the talent shortage in onshore North America, and the desire to relocate some offshore operations closer after the pandemic have increased Latin America’s attractiveness for nearshore delivery capabilities. Some of the latest examples include Transcom’s re-entry in Colombia; new sites opening in Trinidad and Tobago by Teleperformance, iQor, and Valenta BPO; and itel’s acquisition of Emerge BPO with employees in Guyana and Honduras. The combined entity will have strong nearshore delivery capabilities to support US clients, including 20 sites in Colombia and seven in Mexico, offering a multi-country delivery model across the entire LATAM region
  • Differentiated customers: Both Konecta and Comdata are leaders in their respective local markets. The majority of Konecta’s revenue comes from Spain, Portugal, and Latin American regions, with Comdata having a strong presence in Italy, France, and some Latin American countries. Overall, the client overlap between both service providers is very limited, reducing the revenue loss due to cannibalization
  • Operational synergies: Buyers’ preferences when outsourcing CXM have evolved from the traditional levers of cost and scale to now prioritizing digital CX capabilities, end-to-end integration, and value-added services in their portfolio. This merger will allow the sharing and cross-selling of certain specific CX transformation capabilities such as Comdata’s C-suite tools, expertise in Voice of the Customer (VOC), and consulting and operational redesign services with Konecta’s content and performance marketing and conversational commerce offerings. Through its Uranet subsidiary in Brazil, Konecta also owns platforms for customer journey orchestration, knowledge management, and contact center infrastructure

Competition among other global providers

 With US$2 billion in revenue and 130,000 agents, the combined entity gives tough competition to other global CXM providers such as Teleperformance, Sitel, and Concentrix. Below is a look at the capabilities of these global providers in comparison to the combined entity. 

Teleperformance Sitel Concentrix Konecta+Comdata
Revenue US $8.4 billion US $4.3 billion US $6 billion Approx. US $2 billion
FTEs 420,000+ 160,000+ 290,000+ 130,000+
Languages 265+ 50+ 70+ 30+
Countries served 170 40 40+ 24

 

Considerations for buyers

Although organizations have the best intentions to use mergers and acquisitions to supplement their organic efforts, they generally underestimate the risks such as failure to achieve synergies, lack of due diligence, and security and integration challenges. Business leaders have often recognized people, culture, change management, and communication as the top reasons for integration failure. Lack of adequate change management policies can affect the organization’s governance and accountability structure, cause stress and uncertainty for employees, and decrease productivity for businesses, ultimately impacting service quality and timely delivery.

Future outlook for the CXM market

With Sitel’s acquisition of Sykes and Webhelp’s acquisition of OneLink BPO and Dynamicall in 2021, the trend of consolidation among CXM market players is gaining traction. Consolidation enables service providers to work with large clients across multiple delivery countries and end markets, a capability that is rising in importance for CX clients. It also enhances service offering portfolios and technology capabilities by serving as a one-stop-shop for buyers for all CXM needs.

This deal also represents an opportunity for buyers to reexamine their vendor portfolio since certain service providers might now be better positioned to support their clients across multiple locations and processes, representing an opportunity to optimize their portfolio with fewer providers to achieve operational and cost efficiencies.

To discuss the CXM market landscape, please reach out to David Rickard, Vice President, BPS, [email protected], Divya Baweja, Senior Analyst, BPS, [email protected], or contact us.

You can also learn how expanding and developing businesses are attracting technology-focused workers to help execute existing and evolving digital transformation, adopt new processes, and innovate. Join our webinar, How to Effectively Attract and Drive Productivity within the Tech Workforce.

Process Mining Market in the Multiverse of Acquisitions: Celonis Buying PAFnow and Microsoft Enters with Minit Deal

Process Mining Market in the Multiverse of Acquisitions: Celonis Buying PAFnow and Microsoft Enters with Minit Deal

Over the past week, two major acquisitions in the process mining market are drawing attention to this fast-growing space. What does it mean, and will other giants follow? Read on for our expert analysis of the latest deals and implications for this market.

The spotlight is back on the process mining market after we saw two big acquisition announcements last week. First, Celonis announced the acquisition of Process Analytics Factory (PAFnow), a leading process mining product built atop Microsoft Power BI and a “Major Contender” in Everest Group’s Process Mining PEAK Matrix® 2021. Within a couple of days, Microsoft signaled its entry into the space with the acquisition of Minit, a Leader and a Star Performer in our 2021 assessment.

The latest news continues the hot trend of new tech developments and strong M&A activity in this space with companies from different technology universes, such as automation (UiPath), process orchestration (Appian), and big tech (SAP, IBM), entering the process mining market through acquisitions.

With its critical role in accelerating digital transformation and enabling continuous process optimization, process mining is becoming integral to the intelligent automation solution ecosystem. Additionally, owing to increased solution awareness and technology maturity, it has been one of the fastest-growing markets in the intelligent automation space over the past few years, making it very attractive for potential acquisitions.

This year’s acquisition frenzy started in January with iGrafx, a process management provider, announcing the acquisition of the France-based process mining specialist Logpickr. And it hasn’t stopped yet.

Let’s take a look at what the two latest deals could mean.

Celonis further strengthens its market position with PAFnow

Celonis has been the leading technology provider in the process mining market with over a 60% market share. Its Execution Management System (EMS) combines process mining and automation technologies to help enterprises reveal and fix process inefficiencies. The platform offers the capability to ingest data in near real-time from information systems, applications, and user desktops. Celonis Process Data Engine supports process intelligence through capability modules such as Execution Graph to visualize interconnected processes spanning multiple systems and departments, Process Simulation to perform what-if analysis, and Knowledge Models to manage and share process insights.

The acquisition of PAF brings a host of technical capabilities and business opportunities which can help Celonis to:

  • Expand its reach to Microsoft Power BI’s large customer base and user community
  • Integrate Celonis EMS platform with the Microsoft ecosystem, including the broader Power platform and Office 365
  • Improve the ease of getting started with Celonis as an embedded capability within the Power BI platform
  • Provide users the ability to access process mining insights through Microsoft Power BI dashboards

Celonis would also benefit from a capability standpoint through PAFnow’s:

  • Strong technical team with a similar vision for continuous process improvement
  • Pre-built connectors with Microsoft Power BI
  • Content Packs that include data extractors, pre-defined data models, and pre-configured reports for specific processes, applications, and queries

Acquiring PAFnow is part of Celonis’ strategy to enable global companies across industries to leverage the Celonis EMS solution with the Microsoft solution ecosystem to optimize their business processes.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Minit shows process mining is on its way to becoming part of something bigger

Tech giant, Microsoft has been showing keen interest in the intelligent automation space over the past few years, starting in 2019 when it added various Robotic Process Automation (RPA) features to Flow, its automated workflow service, and rebranded it as Power Automate. In 2020, it acquired a leading RPA provider, Softomotive, to mark its seriousness in the RPA space and improve its market positioning. Microsoft emerged as a “Major Contender” in Everest Group’s Robotic Process Automation (RPA) PEAK Matrix® 2021 for its Power Automate solution.

Earlier this year, Microsoft launched its in-house task mining solution with plans to later launch a process mining solution. Microsoft has been quite aggressive on most intelligent automation technology fronts, including RPA, Intelligent Document Processing (IDP), task mining, and now process mining.

Microsoft announced its acquisition of Minit, an Amsterdam-based leading process mining provider, last week for an undisclosed amount. Minit focuses on transforming the way enterprises analyze, monitor, and optimize their processes, helping them uncover opportunities to improve process performance and increase operational efficiency.

The tech company brings a host of capabilities to enhance the value proposition of Microsoft’s intelligent automation offering. These capabilities include automated process discovery and rework detector for process visualization, AI-powered root-cause analysis and process compare for conformance checking, custom metrics for process monitoring, and AI-powered simulation for performing what-if analysis.

This acquisition will further empower Microsoft to help its customers drive operational excellence by providing greater visibility into their business processes, allowing them to perform automated process analysis, and enabling them to drive process improvement initiatives. Microsoft’s entry is not only expected to play a key role in democratizing process mining technology, but it might also impart downward pricing pressure on other process mining providers as it did with its entry into the RPA market with its Power Automate solution.

Key Implications and the process mining market outlook

We expect these deals will result in the following benefits:

  • Improved awareness and greater adoption of process mining: Process mining technology will reach a much broader audience because of these acquisitions. The focus of these providers in integrating process mining platforms with Business Intelligence (BI) tools will help establish a clear distinction between process mining and BI and improve market understanding of how these technologies complement each other. This also will help educate the market on the potential of process mining technology and boost familiarity among enterprises
  • Increased evolution of the mining provider landscape: While Celonis continues to command a large process mining market share, Microsoft’s entry will put pressure on the existing players and also on future deals. Several process mining providers, including Celonis, have technology partnerships with Microsoft. These partnerships will likely continue, and clients will be given the flexibility to choose, as co-opetition is becoming increasingly common in the enterprise software space. The acquisitions would nudge other process mining providers to develop partnerships/integrations with BI providers to extend their ecosystem and fuel growth.

These acquisitions demonstrate an increasing trend of process mining becoming an integral part of bigger enterprise platforms and could also fuel more future M&A activities. Other process mining providers that are embedded in BI platforms might become good acquisition targets. The recent series of acquisitions is a testimony to process mining technology’s potential and reaffirms investors’ confidence in this market

With process mining becoming a crucial component of the intelligent automation ecosystem, the market is rapidly growing, garnering attention from all parts of the world. These acquisitions could trigger other big enterprise tech giants like Oracle, ServiceNow, and Salesforce to make similar moves, making this an exciting time.

It also will be interesting to see whether the tech leaders can drive their large client bases to use their process mining offerings and challenge the dominance of pure-play process mining providers. On the other hand, if these tech giants plan to leverage the acquired process mining capabilities solely for in-house platforms, enterprises may continue to prefer pure-play providers for cross-platform use cases.

To discuss the outlook and opportunities in the process mining market, contact us.

Also, if you’re interested in learning about our in-depth coverage of the digital workplace, check out our webinar, Top Strategies for Creating an Employee-focused Digital Workplace.

Sitel Group’s Acquisition of SYKES Makes a Big Statement – What Does It Mean for the CXM Industry? | Blog

With one of the largest acquisitions in the contact center outsourcing market in recent years, Sitel Group is poised to become a powerhouse with its acquisition of SYKES Enterprises, Inc. This union will likely set off greater investment in customer experience management services (CXM) and more industry consolidation. Read on to find out what this big deal will mean. 

Giant scope gets attention

The contact center outsourcing market is huge, about 90 billion dollars in annual revenues, and the industry is seeing more attention and growth than ever. So, the announcement of the agreement of Sitel Group acquiring all of SYKES’ outstanding shares in a transaction valued at approximately $2.2 billion is another in a growing list of investments in this space, albeit a large one.

Over the last two to three years, most acquisitions by large contact center providers have focused on bringing new capabilities and technologies to an existing footprint, whereas the Sitel Group / SYKES deal calls out gaining additional global presence as one of the main reasons for the acquisition. We have not seen something of this scale for a few years, probably not since the Concentrix acquisition of Convergys.

Ripple effects of the acquisition

This acquisition forms a $4 billion customer experience management services (CXM) organization with over 150,000 agents, making Sitel Group one of the three largest organizations in the industry alongside Teleperformance and Concentrix. In this blog, we’ll explore what this acquisition means for Sitel Group, its existing and potential customers, as well as the CXM industry as a whole.

Here are a few of the key impacts we expect:

  • The pace of change within Sitel Group: Existing customers of both companies should be mindful as to the speed and effectiveness of the integration and changes to the senior leadership team. Moving too quickly on an integration of this type can cause delivery capability issues, but moving too slowly can lead to service degradation as people are distracted by impending changes and, thereby, lose focus on immediate priorities. Potential clients will also want a clear view of available offerings, service delivery models, and innovation roadmaps
  • Sitel Group scaling up: Sitel Group’s acquisition of SYKES opens up a plethora of new delivery locations, including in Australia, EMEA, and Central America. However, we can expect to see a consolidation of sites and locations over time, especially where both have strong presences. The global footprint will also reduce as locations begin to provide service in the same languages. We also expect that Sitel Group’s considerable work on improving profitability in recent years will benefit SYKES’ business, whose current operating margins are on the lower side in the industry.

In terms of vertical expertise, Sitel Group and SYKES have complementary strengths, with Sitel Group bringing presence in the retail, insurance, and public sector spaces and SYKES bringing strength in the technology and healthcare industries.

  • Client volume drop: While Sitel Group and SYKES share complementary capabilities and mindsets, one natural overlap is that they have many of the same clients, making it probable that they will lose some client volume. Clients will not want to aggregate their contact center outsourcing into one place, they will naturally want to diversify
  • Delays in fully leveraging new capabilities: Many CXM service providers are developing digital CXM capabilities as the industry moves at pace away from traditional “people in seats” models and focuses on delivering better customer experiences through digital interactions to drive better business outcomes. SYKES has a strong focus on digital marketing and automation capabilities which benefits Sitel Group, which has leveraged partnerships in those areas

While Sitel Group’s acquisition of SYKES will bring additional and much-needed digital capabilities to the new combined business, a company the size of the new organization cannot deliver change and adjust to new offerings and skills overnight. It may take some time to fully deliver new digital capabilities at scale.

Increased investments in the contact center industry

As the contact center industry aims to better understand the customer and improve customer experience, we’re seeing many investments in the market.

Service providers across the board are investing in technologies and skillsets to become more digital and get ahead of the curve to offer better customer experiences. They are finding organizations more willing to spend money to improve customer service, an area where in the past, they treated simply as a cost base that needed to be reduced, but are now recognizing its potential strategic and topline business impact. Smaller service providers are taking advantage of their agility and are quickly adapting to a digital-first CXM business, and larger providers are having to work hard to keep pace with the rate of digital adoption.

Watch for more deals in the future

Expect to see more public and non-public deals happening. With the size of this market and everyone working towards digital transformation, a trend that has further accelerated due to vulnerabilities exposed by COVID-19, the contact center outsourcing industry is really ripe for investment.

These deals will result in a consolidation in the marketplace but with bigger market growth. Penetration of contact center outsourcing could increase from roughly 30 percent to upwards of 35 percent in the next few years – resulting in a faster rate of growth than we’ve seen in the past decade.

It will not only be due to big service providers getting even larger. Smaller service providers will need to rapidly articulate their differentiation to remain relevant in a crowded marketplace, such as in a process area or industry domain; otherwise, they run the risk of being in a race towards the bottom.

You can also attend our LinkedIn Live session, Who is Leading Customer Experience Management (CXM) Services in Europe?,  to learn the results of our recently completed PEAK Matrix® assessment showcasing our latest CXM research in the EMEA region.

IBM to Acquire myInvenio: Completing the Intelligent Automation Puzzle with Process Mining | Blog

The intelligent automation space has been witnessing a slew of acquisitions over the past couple of years. Several big tech providers have entered the market through numerous acquisitions, especially in the robotic process automation (RPA) space.

While the trend continues in RPA, with ServiceNow’s acquisition of India-based RPA vendor, Intellibot as the latest addition, 2021 seems to be a year of increasing M&A activity in the process mining space. After the acquisition of Signavio by SAP earlier this year, IBM’s acquisition of myInvenio is the second M&A deal happening in the process mining market within a short span of three months.

In one of our previously published blogs, Is It Open Season for RPA Acquisitions?, we highlighted larger technology players entering the intelligent automation market and discussed why more acquisitions might follow as these players seek to build more holistic business transformation solutions.

IBM entered the intelligent automation space with its platform, IBM Cloud Pak for Automation, in 2018 to help enterprises scale up their digital transformation initiatives. Two years later, IBM acquired WDG Automation, a Brazilian RPA vendor, to augment its platform capabilities.

Now, IBM is looking to further expand its automation portfolio with its latest acquisition of myInvenio, an Italy-based process mining technology vendor. The acquisition for an undisclosed price is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2021.

Why the acquisition is not a big surprise

IBM provides IT and business process automation services to enterprises through its automation suite, which includes RPA, Intelligent Document Processing (IDP), Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA), and process orchestration capabilities. Looking at IBM’s offerings within the intelligent automation technology ecosystem, process mining emerges as the key missing element in its automation suite.

The COVID-19 crisis highlighted the importance of digital transformation and the need to accelerate automation journeys for enterprises. The lack of a healthy automation pipeline and the inability to identify the right level of optimization opportunities emerged as key barriers for enterprises to scale automation initiatives. This has led to an increased focus on better understanding business processes and optimizing them to improve value realization from automation initiatives.

Process mining emerged as a critical technology providing the ability to discover as-is processes and identify/prioritize automation opportunities. Lately, the intelligent automation space also witnessed increased consolidation and entry of other bigger players in the market such as Microsoft, SAP, ServiceNow, etc., resulting in increased competitiveness for IBM.

To cater to the market demand and better compete in the automation space, IBM partnered with myInvenio in November 2020 to help its customers gain visibility into business processes and identify automation opportunities. Through this partnership, IBM sought to deliver a single solution to its clients for streamlining and automating business processes.

IBM has a very strong focus on enabling a unified experience to its clients through a one-stop-shop automation suite. In line with this vision, this acquisition would help IBM provide process mining capabilities that are tightly integrated into its automation platform. Also, this union would provide a holistic solution to IBM’s clients where they could access various technologies that constitute the intelligent automation ecosystem. It also boosts their AI and hybrid cloud strategy to provide enterprises with the necessary AI-enabled automation capabilities.

Why myInvenio?

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Reggio Emilia, Italy, myInvenio has a vision to support enterprises in their digital transformation journey by helping them create a digital twin of their organization. Over the last eight years, it has acquired clients globally spanning the European, North American, APAC, and UK regions and serves enterprises across key verticals such as banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), manufacturing, and healthcare and pharmaceutical.

Through its process mining solution, myInvenio focuses on enabling data-driven process discovery, analysis, and continuous monitoring to identify process improvement and transformation opportunities.

myInvenio was identified as a major contender in Everest Group’s 2020 Process Mining PEAK Matrix® and brings a host of capability modules to enhance the value proposition of IBM’s automation suite. These include:

  • myInvenio Process Analyst
    • Process discovery – to automatically generate process maps, perform multi-level process mining, and create BPMN 2.0 compliant process models
    • Conformance checking – to compare discovered as-is process model with a target reference model, perform root-cause analysis, and check compliance rules such as segregation of duties
  • myInvenio Process Insights
    • Process monitoring and reporting – to derive process insights through continuous monitoring, create customizable dashboards, and define custom KPIs/metrics
    • Process enhancement – to identify processes/tasks for automation, predict and highlight any expected KPI breach, and perform simulations/what-if analysis
  • myInvenio Desktop Process Mining (DPM)/Task mining capability – to capture users’ interactions across multiple desktops and map the recorded tasks to respective processes using Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning algorithms for discovering end-to-end processes
  • myInvenio Process Store – to provide out-of-the-box pre-built templates for processes spanning across industries such as banking, manufacturing, and energy and utilities

What are the implications going forward?

Impact on process mining vendor landscape and partnerships

IBM has strategic go-to-market partnerships and technology alliances with other process mining vendors. Earlier this month, Celonis, IBM, and Red Hat announced a strategic partnership to help enterprises accelerate their digital transformation by combining Celonis Execution Management System (EMS) with Red Hat OpenShift’s hybrid cloud approach and IBM Global Business Services’ expertise.

Partnerships like these are expected to continue, giving clients the flexibility to choose as co-opetition is becoming quite common in the enterprise software space. For example, IBM maintained its partnerships with RPA vendors such as Automation Anywhere and UiPath after the WDG automation acquisition.

The IBM acquisition of myInvenio could put pressure on other process mining vendors since many do not have a global reach and would need to expand their service provider partnership ecosystem. This latest deal could also encourage the acquisition of process mining capabilities by other tech giants, Business Process Management (BPM), and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) companies in the coming months to offer a more holistic solution to their clients.

Increased adoption of process mining

Process mining technology would reach a much broader audience after its integration into the platforms offered by these service providers, resulting in improved awareness and adoption. IBM offers its automation products to enterprises across different sectors such BFSI, healthcare, and manufacturing.

IBM started delivering process mining services to its customers in November 2020 by leveraging its OEM partnership with myInvenio. Augmenting its prior implementation experience with in-house technology capabilities, IBM can now provide process mining capabilities that are tightly integrated with its automation suite. It is expected that IBM would offer process mining on a standalone basis as well as part of its Cloud Pak for Automation platform.

Impact on service providers

This acquisition will nudge other service providers to demonstrate their ability to think ahead and make more investments to strengthen their automation suite. Last week, Celonis announced its execution management without limits program that gives service providers access to its process mining solution with unlimited users and processes but charges them based on the volume of data being analyzed. While Celonis offering its EMS to consultants could be a win-win situation for both Celonis and service providers, some large service suppliers still might look to acquire process mining capabilities to strengthen their in-house technology portfolio. Also, having this capability in-house would give service providers more negotiating power and reduce the reliance on third-party vendors for capabilities that can be critical for their business going forward. The acquisition route can provide them the ability to deliver innovation faster in their focus industries and functions.

The takeaway: the acquisition could fuel more activity 

Since IBM has been faster in integrating acquired capabilities into its suite because of its cloud-based platform approach and containerized product architecture, it is expected to take less time to embed myInvenio’s process mining offering at a technical level within IBM’s automation suite.

With process mining emerging as a critical component of the automation ecosystem, the process mining market is entering a disruptive phase, garnering attention from all parts of the world. This acquisition could also trigger other big enterprise tech vendors like Microsoft, Oracle, ServiceNow, and Salesforce to make similar moves to enter the process mining market.

Salesforce Acquires Slack: Salesforce Stands to Gain Much More Than Slack in the Long Run | Blog

There was much excitement on December 1, 2020, when Salesforce announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Slack, and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff called the US$27.7 billion deal a “match made in heaven.” In the days since, however, the market has significantly dampened that excitement, with Salesforce losing more in market valuation than the price it paid for the acquisition.

But we at Everest Group are bullish on the deal; we believe Salesforce has much to gain in the long term.

Microsoft’s erstwhile involvement

Microsoft considered buying Slack for US$8 billion in 2016, but ultimately decided to take this market on organically, releasing Teams within a year. Microsoft used the US$8 billion to invest in Teams growth through:

  • An ecosystem play – Microsoft leveraged its Office 365 ecosystem to increase the Teams user base. It effectively provided Teams for free as part of multiple Office 365 packages, providing a more holistic value proposition.
  • Aggressive sales – Microsoft started a price war with Slack by offering Teams as a free product or at a highly discounted price. With its deep pockets and bundled offerings, Microsoft effectively contained Slack, turning the market against it, causing its valuation to decline.

Slack’s story

They say necessity is the mother of invention, and Slack is the poster child for that. What began as an internal tool, developed out of necessity turned into a wildly popular chat and productivity offering. Then Microsoft set its sights on the space, effectively crushing Slacks’ growth. In terms of market adoption, before Slack stopped reporting daily active user numbers in 2019, it was able to grow to about 12 million users in seven years; Teams matched that number in only three years. Moreover, Teams continues to expand its presence with a daily active user base touching 115 million in October 2020.

In terms of market valuation, despite achieving robust revenue and user base growth, Slack has not been profitable, reporting a loss of US$138 million in 2019. Additionally, its market valuation has eroded significantly since its IPO listing: From its IPO price of US$38.50, Slack was trading at $25.89 on October 31, 2020, a valuation loss of ~33%.

In many ways, its rivalry with Teams and its ensuing market valuation loss made Slack desperate for an acquisition. Slack needed a partner to sustain itself and compete with Microsoft. Salesforce to the rescue!

How can Salesforce help Slack compete with Teams and Zoom?

One’s immediate reaction may be that Slack should be able to arrest its slide given its ability to reach into Salesforce’s deep pockets. However, our take is that Salesforce is good at selling to business units and sales and marketing folks, not to enterprise IT and tech, who would be the primary Slack buyers. That is Microsoft’s power alley – the area it rules. In addition to money, Salesforce will have to make big changes to its sales model to make a dent in Microsoft’s tight control of that space.

How does Salesforce benefit from this acquisition?

The acquisition comes at a time when Salesforce recognizes its need to build integrated suites for enterprises. Most of its competitors – Microsoft, of course, and SAP and Oracle – have been talking about integrating the front and back ends, especially as enterprises have started to realize the importance of end-to-end integrated suites cutting across ERP, CRM, and HCM.

This acquisition gives Salesforce the opportunity to move beyond the sales and marketing area and gain access to other parts of the organization. If integrated well with the Salesforce platform, Slack could potentially act as a unifying thread across ERP, CRM, and HCM, while also solving for the missing piece in their customer-360 value proposition.

Salesforce has made a couple of failed forays in the collaboration space with Chatter and Quip; the third time may be the charm with Slack, given its more robust offering and positive customer sentiment.

What does the acquisition mean for the market?

The acquisition highlights the fact that the industry is going through consolidation, and standalone products are finding it difficult to compete with larger players that offer bundled products. Moreover, the collaboration space is gaining significant traction among enterprises as remote working becomes the new norm. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Amazon or SAP getting into this space, and we’re wondering if we might see Atlassian, Splunk, or some other similar organizations in the acquisition news sometime soon.

If you’d like to share your thoughts on the acquisition or on Salesforce’s strategy, reach out to us at [email protected] or [email protected].

 

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