Tag: Accenture

Nearly Half of All Sourcing Investments Leave Enterprises Unsatisfied | Press Release

But in performance rankings, TCS, Cognizant, HCL, Accenture and L&T Infotech are honored for creating best ‘overall experience’ for clients

Despite large-scale investments by service providers, 48 percent of enterprises surveyed by Everest Group are not satisfied with their service provider’s performance. In particular, service providers are performing poorly as “strategic partners” for enterprises and score an average rating of five on a scale of one to ten.

There are also significant gaps in enterprises’ expectations and service providers’ performance with respect to innovation, creative engagement models and day-to-day project management.

“Most service providers are perceived to be technically competent, but technical expertise and domain expertise are considered ‘table stakes’ by enterprises across industries,” said Chirajeet Sengupta, partner at Everest Group.  “Enterprises now expect their service providers to move beyond day-to-day delivery and focus on larger strategic business issues. Unfortunately, service providers still have a long way to go to meaningfully engage clients and become strategic partners, and that is a significant concern for the industry. This research signals the wake-up call and offers service providers guidance on how to strategize their engagement approach and prioritize investments to meet mounting customer expectations.”

In general, enterprises believe that mid- and small-sized service providers bring considerably more innovation and engagement flexibility than their larger counterparts. In fact, enterprises believe some large service providers have become lethargic and complacent and are indifferent to client requirements.

In contrast to these sentiments, five predominantly large service providers received the honor of creating the best “overall experience” for clients, based on client commentary and weighted aggregate ratings given by interviewed enterprises on key assessment dimensions.

  • Accenture: Accenture is perceived to bring market-leading domain expertise to solve complex problems and drive business outcomes.
  • Cognizant: Clients appreciate Cognizant’s approach to becoming their strategic partner as well as its flexibility in commercial constructs.
  • HCL: HCL is perceived to be extremely flexible in commercial models and strong in retaining key talent in its client accounts.
  • L&T Infotech: L&T Infotech is perceived to provide strong commercial flexibility as well as domain competence in the specific industries it operates in.
  • Tata Consultancy Services: Enterprises appreciate TCS’s technical capabilities and initiatives to drive strategic partnership with clients.

These results and other findings are explored in a recently published Everest Group report: “Customer (Dis)Satisfaction: Why Are Enterprises Unhappy with Their Service Providers?” The research summarizes over 130 interviews conducted with enterprises across the globe regarding the capabilities of their service providers with respect to applications, digital, cloud and infrastructure services. The report also details the technology investment priorities of enterprises and opportunity areas for service providers.

***Download Complimentary High-Resolution Graphics***

Key takeaways from the research findings are summarized in a set of high-resolution graphics available for complimentary download here. The graphics may be included in news coverage, with attribution to Everest Group.

The graphics include:

  • (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction: Nearly half of all enterprises are dissatisfied with their IT service providers
  • Enterprises’ technology investment priorities largely focused on innovation
  • IT service delivery: performance versus value
  • Size matters in selecting an IT services provider
  • The top 5 IT services providers

TCS Makes Digital Bet against Accenture and Cognizant | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

TCS is the largest Indian heritage player in the services industry and is a true market leader. But like the rest of the services industry, TCS faces the maturity of the labor arbitrage market. We see it reflected in TCS’ growth over the last year and in its prospects of growth going forward.

Like its competitors – Accenture and Cognizant – TCS aspires to also become a leader in the new market segments of automation, analytics, cloud and cognitive (AACC) or some type of digital technology and the new business models around AACC. However, the TCS strategy to do this is different from Accenture and Cognizant.

TCS is developing the capabilities and technologies for AACC in house and trying to use its tremendous client base to launch these new capabilities. This strategy stands in contrast to Accenture.

Understanding that its ERP practice was very mature and in decline, Accenture decided to take a leadership role in digital. Historically, Accenture has used a “grow your own capabilities” strategy. But it changed course this time, recognizing digital is a different business model and it was moving so fast that Accenture didn’t have time to build its own capabilities. So Accenture has been on an aggressive digital company acquisition strategy to acquire talent – buying, on average, two digital companies a month for the last two years.

Interestingly, these acquisitions have not contributed meaningful revenue to Accenture, but they have contributed significantly to the Accenture growth. They have done this by allowing Accenture to capture the rare skills in this new market and move to the preeminent leader position in the digital marketplace. The race is still early, but Accenture has opened up a tremendous lead.

Moreover, Cognizant joined Accenture in the acquisitive model, recognizing that building its capacity alone would not assure the market leadership role that it desires.

Here’s the question for TCS: Will it have to change its perspective on acquisitions, adopting the examples of Accenture and Cognizant of acquiring capabilities and talents in the digital arena instead of taking the TCS approach of build-your-own capabilities?

The TCS strategy

I believe TCS is playing the long game rather than looking at near-term capabilities gains. TCS has everything it needs to adopt the Accenture and Cognizant strategy – everything except the willingness to do so. It has the balance sheet and sophisticated management. But it also is a thoughtful organization with a strong culture focused on people.

As retired CEO Subramaniam Ramadorai wrote in his 2011 book, “The TCS Story … and Beyond,” “This is a people business and we are mindful that integrating acquisitions in this type of business is very difficult and that many large deals in this sector have failed.” He added that TCS supplements organic growth with acquisitions “where they make sense” but doesn’t “strike too many deals.” He summed up the TCS position with the statement that most companies “can grow organically much faster and achieve better returns by reinvesting in organic growth than in acquisitions.”

The company’s view of organic growth turned out to be right in the case of labor arbitrage. But is it different this time? The winning formula in arbitrage was about capacity and de-risking service delivery. In the digital world, where speed is important, the risk is not having the right technology fast enough.

The TCS approach of building from within may take a bit longer to bear significant fruit, but it may also enable smoother, more integrated operations and a healthy culture with solid benefits down the road.

Will the TCS strategy be powerful enough to capture the leadership position down the road? This will be a long race. Often the early leaders in a race are the eventual winners. But TCS could be a late bloomer. Do you think TCS will maintain its course, or will it move to a more aggressive, acquisitive strategy?

Cerner, Accenture, and Leidos Won the DoD’s US$9 Billion EHR Deal: Do You Know Who Lost It? | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

While the healthcare industry is reeling over the massive size of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) US$9 billion EHR contract just awarded to Cerner, Leidos, and Accenture, less attention is being paid to the fact that this team won the deal over the hot favourite joint bid of Epic Systems and IBM. Those who know the EHR landscape know there is scant anything that Epic loses (of course, the same used to be said about IBM, and that is where irony can probably find solace). Hence, the focus of this blog is on the fact that the invincible Epic Systems lost the mother of all deals in the EHR space.

Why are we hung up on Epic Systems? For the uninitiated, here is some context:

  • Predominant market leader: With over 40 percent market share, Epic has precipitated a large ecosystem of providers that are on its EHR platform. Epic has intelligently used its dominant market position to work with its customers in defining the roadmap for the evolution of EMR systems, and to make its competitors react to the steps it is taking to innovate across various care practices. Epic has focused primarily on large hospital systems, with minimal attention on the mid- to low-sized segment of the market. With its hold on the market, one is led to believe that Epic chooses its clients, rather than the other way around

  • Highly relationship-driven: Clients have traditionally loved Epic for being proactive in evolving its products, responding to suggestions, and quickly fixing issues. This is what set it apart from the biggies, such as Allscripts and Cerner, in its initial days. Epic has strong consultative sales teams that work closely with administrators, CMOs, and physicians. For large pursuits, it deploys dedicated product customization teams that can deliver POCs, manage change, and implement Epic in record time with partners. And most of Epic’s key product people, who can actually understand and address issues, are just a phone call away.

What could be going wrong with Epic Systems?

  • The “Epic” standard EMR? In an era where healthcare is actively pursuing consumer-focused and highly flexible technological innovation, Epic is facing flak – outside of its existing customer base – because of its highly standardized and rigid architecture. Key areas of question include lack of interoperability, lack of efficient APIs for consumer/end-user application development, and foreseen inability to innovate in a digital world due to its MUMPS-based legacy platform. This is what came out starkly when you read between the lines of Frank Kendall, Under Secretary, Department of Defense’s statement: “Market share was not a consideration, we wanted minimum modifications.”

  • High upfront capital investment: The upfront cost of Epic adoption is increasingly being mentioned as one of the hindrances. Cost is a major factor, and EMR implementations are hospitals’ biggest IT spend and budget areas. More importantly, some of the highly cited large EHR implementations (such as the US$700 million Duke University and Boston Partners deal) create an impression of a highly rigid commercials image for Epic. The case on cost versus benefit of having EHR has not been settled yet. Epic’s high premium positioning put it in a tight corner, despite the US$35 billion subsidies riding the EMR industry, and the general customer preference for Epic. The irony here is that the US$9 billion size of the deal is the reason Epic was such a natural choice for this DoD deal, but it probably lost it because the government needed a more flexible arrangement

  • Declining quality of services: Epic is facing the classical quality versus quantity challenge when it comes to managing its growing list of clients. The increasing shortfall in expert support staff is impacting its ability to maintain and support its products across many new and old clients. In the last 18-24 months, an increasing number of client executives have raised flags about outstanding and unresolved issues

  • Training has become a major area of concern, as more and more hospital systems are complaining of lost revenues due to their staffs’ below par or behind the curve Epic readiness. Epic’s inability to provide efficient training modules, and its tendency to keep things close to its chest, is driving wariness among new clients

  • Vendor-neutral storage: Given dependency concerns, customers are increasingly demanding vendors be aligned to some sort of vendor-neutral storage or archiving architecture. This is likely to lead to more thought leadership on vendor-neutral technologies, which will be directed at Epic’s predominant control regime.

There may be other commercial reasons for this massive DoD EHR deal not going Epic’s way. However, organizations already had a strong sense of circumspection while evaluating Epic’s EHR in terms of interoperability, next generation technology, digital enablement, and control. While before these reasons were less salient because of Epic’s trailblazing success, this lost deal will spur prospects to question them with a far more discerning eye.

Why Is Accenture So Successful? | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

Accenture’s set of service offerings is incredibly broad-based. They serve clients in an incredible number of business processes. They provide services in every geography. They deal with a huge variety of industries. How can a firm do so many things at the same time with such excellence?

Simply put, the answer is people. Using our framework assessing companies’ characteristics necessary for success, Accenture’s team of exceptional talent stands out. The provider is able to deal with a profusion of diversity in processes, industries and geographies because it aligns its brand, go-to-market approach, portfolio and business model with high-performance talent.

Assessment framework technology service companies

Accenture takes on clients’ big problems that require a transformational journey. Typically the challenge has a technology component or basis. And typically it requires the use of exceptionally deep talent.

Accenture’s relentless focus on high-end talent deployed against big business problems enables the provider to make decisions around what not to do. They are a talent engine, so they let others take on the roles of owning the technologies and servers. They play well in the ecosystem.

They also exit spaces that are highly commoditized where a provider can deploy less talented, cheaper resources. Accenture stays focused on big problems that require transformational journeys, which require high-end, exceptional talent. That’s why they’re extraordinarily successful in providing services in a bewildering variety of processes and industries.

Groundbreaking Rio Tinto and Accenture As-a-Service IT Deal | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

Rio Tinto, a global diversified mining company, recently announced a groundbreaking initiative they are undertaking with Accenture. This can best be described as moving Rio Tinto’s enterprise IT function into an as-a-service model. Game-changing benefits permeate this deal, and it’s an eye-opener for enterprises in all industries.

Let’s look at what Rio Tinto gains by pulling the as-a-service lever to achieve greater value in its IT services.

First, it changes the relationship between the business and IT. It breaks down the functional silos of a traditional centralized IT organization and aligns each service. In doing so, it creates an end-to-end relationship in each service, whether it be SAP, collaboration or any other functional services.

Second, this initiative moves Rio Tinto’s entire IT supply chain to a consumption-based model. This is incredibly important for a cyclical commodity industry, where revenues are subject to the world commodity markets. Rio Tinto’s core product, iron ore, is a commodity that can result in revenues slashed in half in the course of a year, leading to the need for cost reduction initiatives. Correspondingly, in boom times, commodities can double and triple in price, resulting in frenetic energy to expand production. The as-a-service model ends this commodity whiplash impact. It gives Rio Tinto a powerful ability to match costs to their variable consumption patterns.

This move will change the pace of innovation within Rio Tinto, allowing it to future proof its investments in IT. As many enterprises discover, multi-year IT projects often end up being out of date by the time they are implemented. Rio Tinto sought to shorten the IT cycle time so it can take full advantage of innovations the market generates. In the as-a-service model, it can pull those innovations through to the business quickly – which is a struggle for traditional siloed centralized IT functions.

These are game-changing benefits. It’s important to recognize that the journey to capture these benefits required a complete rethinking of how Rio Tinto’s IT (applications and infrastructure) is conceived, planned, delivered, and maintained. Moving from a siloed take-or-pay model to an integrated consumption-based model required wide-ranging re-envisioning and reshaping the ecosystem for deploying its technology; it touched IT talent, philosophies, processes, policies, vendors, and partners.

Clearly this journey will be well worth the effort given the substantial game-changing benefits. Challenging times call for breakthrough answers. The cost benefits alone are significant; but even more important is the ability of this approach to accelerate the transformation of the company into a more digital business. Rio Tinto chose to partner with Accenture to move its organization to this fundamentally different action plan for delivering and consuming IT and meeting the rapidly evolving needs of the business.


Photo credit: Rio Tinto

The Facts About the Recent Service Provider Restructurings

In the past year, multiple global service providers have engaged in restructuring initiatives that will significantly alter their business model and fundamentally change the competitive landscape. Some of these restructurings include:

sp_restructuring_2

Numerous providers have also announced plans around changing operating and talent models. For example:

  •  Workforce rationalization
    • HP has announced ~55,000 job cuts since 2012 in a move toward workforce rationalization
    • IBM’s company-wide employee count dropped in 2013 for the first time in a decade as a result of massive lay-offs
  •  Increased offshoring leverage, particularly in India
    • Capgemini plans to increase share of India to 50 percent of overall firm’s headcount by 2016
    • Atos has announced plans to double its employee strength in India by 2016

While this is not the first instance of service provider restructuring, this time is unique because multiple firms have announced programs at essentially the same time. In addition, there is speculation that other global majors will launch business portfolio restructuring initiatives (i.e., carve-outs, leveraged buyouts).

Why is this happening now? The reasons are relatively straightforward. First, many global providers have experienced reduced profitability in traditional “non-core” businesses. This, coupled with increasing competitive intensity and the shifting competitive landscape is resulting in pricing pressures. Second, next generation capabilities (e.g., social media, SaaS, analytics, and cloud) are poised to become the next growth engines, and all leading players are channelizing their investments in these areas. Finally, most global players are moving toward rationalizing their portfolios for focused investments, due to strained management bandwidth and focus.

But these initiatives will create multiple impacts beyond the obvious strategic objectives. Consider this: over the last eight quarters, the operating margins of the leading global service providers (Accenture, Aon Hewitt, Convergys, CSC, HP Enterprise Services, IBM Global Services, Unisys, and Xerox Services) grew the most in Q2 2014. This restructuring trend will likely continue as some of the long-term benefits translate into improved profitability for global service providers.

Improved profitability of global majors will also impact buyers and other service providers. We anticipate increasing focus by offshore-centric service providers on inorganic growth by acquisitions. They are also likely to scout for more collaboration opportunities to build capabilities, particularly in next generation global services. We also foresee buyers aggressively monitoring provider investments to evaluate sourcing model decisions (i.e., build vs. buy).

Interestingly, one of the unintended after-effects of these restructurings is that the offshore-centric service providers have witnessed better revenue growth than the global majors, and thus have improved in their relative rankings by revenue. For example, TCS recently overtook CSC in terms of overall revenue. And other offshore-centric providers are also bridging the revenue gap with their global counterparts. While this ranking reshuffling has been occurring for some time, the global major’ restructuring initiatives and focus on profitability (sometimes at the expense of revenue growth) has further accelerated this trend.

For more details on these restructuring initiatives and their impact on the global services industry, and other information on leading service providers, please refer to our Market Vista™ Q3 2014 report.

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