Tag: HCL

HCL Acquires IBM Products – Desperation or Aspiration? | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

On December 6, 2018, HCL announced it had acquired seven IBM products across security, commerce, and marketing for a record US$1.8 billion. To provide a financial context to this acquisition: HCL, India’s third largest IT services provider, invested about 22 percent of its annual revenue to bolster its products and platforms portfolio – what it refers to as its Mode 3 portfolio – which barely contributes to 10 percent of its annual revenue.

Demystifying the Why

What strategic outcomes could HCL potentially derive from this deal?

  • Cross-sell opportunities: Access to the more than 5,000 enterprises currently using the acquired IBM products
  • Superior value proposition around as-a-service offerings: Integration of these products with HCL’s ADM, infrastructure, and digital services
  • Top-line growth due to recurring revenue streams and expanded EBIDTA margins
  • Fewer dependencies on external vendors: Improved capabilities to bundle internal IP with services can enable HCL to have greater control over outcomes, thereby enhancing its ability to deliver value at speed

 Sounds good…Right?

At first glance, the acquisition may seem to be a strategic fit for HCL. But when we dug deeper, we observed that while some of the IP plugs gaps in HCL’s portfolio, others don’t necessarily enhance the company’s overall capabilities.

HCL acquisitions

This analysis raises meaningful questions that indicate there are potential potholes that challenge its success:

  • Confusion around strategic choices: The product investments point to a strong proclivity towards IT modernization, rather than digital transformation. This acquisition of on-premise products comes at a time when inorganic investments by peers’ (recent examples include Infosys’ acquisition of Fluido and Cognizant’s acquisition of SaaSFocus) and enterprises’ preference are geared towards cloud-based products
  • Capability to drive innovation at speed on the tool stack: To address the digital needs of new and existing clients, as well as to deliver on the promise of as-a-service offerings, HCL needs to repurpose the products and make significant investments in modernizing legacy IP
  • Financial momentum sustenance: With an increasing number of clients moving away from on-premise environments to cloud, it remains to be seen if HCL can sustain the US$650 million annual revenue projection from these products
  • Customer apprehensions: Customers that have bundled these products as part of large outsourcing contracts built on the foundation of their relationships with IBM will likely be apprehensive about the products’ strategic direction, ongoing management, and integration challenges as their IT environments evolve
  • The illusion of cross-sell: It remains to be seen if HCL can succeed in cross-selling digital services for these legacy products, especially in the beginning of its relationship with the 5,000+ clients currently using the in-scope IBM products.

 The Way Forward

The acquisition definitely is a bold move by HCL, which may seem meaningful from an overall financial investment and ROI perspective. However, the subdued investor confidence reflects poor market sentiment, at least at the start. Although this could be considered a short-term consequence, HCL’s investments in these legacy products is in stark contrast to the way the rest of industry is moving forward.

HCL IBM Blog graphs2On the day of the acquisition, HCL’s stock price fell 7.8 percent, signaling negative market sentiments and thumbs down from analysts. In contrast, the market behaved differently in response to  acquisitions by HCL’s peers in the recent past.

To prove the market wrong, HCL needs to focus its efforts on developing and innovating on top of these products; developing synergies with its ADM, infrastructure, and digital services; alleviating client apprehensions; and providing a well-defined roadmap on how it plans to sustain momentum leveraging these products over the long term.

What is your take on HCL’s acquisition of these IBM products? We would love to hear from you at [email protected] and [email protected].

HCL ups the ante to dislodge Wipro from number 3 position | In the News

Anil Chanana let the cat out of the bag at an analyst call earlier this year. The chief financial officer of HCL Technologies said he expects half the growth for the current fiscal to come organically. “If I take 10.5% as being the middle of the range, I am cutting it exactly in half — 5.25% is organic and 5.25% is inorganic.”

Industry experts believe successful enterprises of the future will need to develop symbiotic relationships across the ecosystem to exploit market opportunities and accomplish goals.

But unlike most peers, HCL has used its balance sheet to win new business by buying assets, argues Peter Bender-Samuel, chief executive of consultancy firm Everest. In transactions with both CSC (now DXC) and IBM, HCL acquired the rights to support legacy software assets by offering CSC and IBM with large upfront payments. In exchange, it received a large ongoing contract to maintain the software. In some cases, HCL will provide upgrades, jointly market the software and receive a part of sales.

Read more in The Economic Times

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

Have a question?

Please let us know how we can help you.

Contact us

Email us

How can we engage?

Please let us know how we can help you on your journey.