Monthly Archives: May 2021

Accenture, Infosys, KPMG, EY and DXC top the 2021 ServiceNow services rankings

May 30, 2021 | Phil FershtTom ReunerMartin Gabriel

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One platform which has scaled new heights over the past year, geared to orchestrating processes in the cloud, is ServiceNow.  One area that is becoming increasingly critical for these platforms is driving up the excitement of the leading - and emerging - services providers to train their staff to deploy, develop and help manage the solutions.  Hence, it is no coincidence that we're seeing SNOW rise in prominence with the service providers with ex-SAP chief Bill McDermott at the helm. 

HFS' IT services leader, Dr Tom Reuner, supported by analyst Martin Gabriel, have spent the past few months talking with an exhaustive quota of end-customers of ServiceNow, in addition to drilling into HFS' customer perception surveys, to draw up the definitive Top Ten guide to ServiceNow Services in 2021.  Premium HFS subscribers can access their copy of the report here.

So let's hear a bit more from Tom about this evolving market...

Phil Fersht, CEO HFS: Tom - why has ServiceNow become the orchestration platform of choice for so many enterprises in recent times?  What has changed to drive such a level of interest?

Dr Tom Reuner, SVP IT Services Research, HFS: Suffice it to say, Phil, the attraction of ServiceNow is in the eye of the beholder. For me, it is one of the key enablers for operationalizing the OneOffice. Let me peel back the HFS nomenclature for a moment. ServiceNow is the operational layer that helps organizations to deliver digital customer and employee experiences. In a nutshell, it is achieving this by offering workflows in the cloud that are underpinned by a single data model. But crucially, these workflows are cross-functional and organizations are looking to obtain that single pane of glass with all the operational data.

So what does cross-functional really mean? Many organizations started their journey with ServiceNow with IT workflows as they got fed up with the lack of agility of their often highly customized ITSM solutions such as Remedy that are still on-prem. But many organizations are expanding ServiceNow beyond ITSM toward IT Business Management or SecOps within IT, while others are literally taking the platform and leveraging it in business functions such as customer service, HR, and procurement. Thus, ServiceNow is a conduit for overcoming the organizational silos that we at HFS keep talking about. As one service provider put it, you have to earn your right in IT workflows to expand the platform to other business units.

Another strong alignment with the OneOffice mindset is that ServiceNow is delivering digital customer and employee experiences that delight folks rather than frustrate them. Those experiences could come from portals but increasingly are coming also from mobile devices. A good example is returning to work projects and even vaccination management as we are hopefully getting toward the tail end of the pandemic. You only get to high levels of customer and employee satisfaction if your operations are underpinned by consistent data sets and actions can be adapted easily.

How is the service ecosystem evolving around the NOW platform, Tom?  What are you seeing from the major providers and the emerging niche firms?

There is an immense dynamism in the broader ServiceNow ecosystem. I would point to three major trends. First, clients are starting to scale the cross-functional journey with ServiceNow. We are seeing organizations managing GBS operations with ServiceNow end-to-end. They are taking the platform across HR, F&A, procure, and beyond. This is a far cry from the beginnings of ITSM. Second, ServiceNow is pushing an industry-led go-to-market. Thus, service providers have built out deeply verticalized offerings. Compelling examples are Operational Resilience in the financial services space and on the telco side, Network Performance Management offerings that get deeply integrated with the OSS/BSS landscape. And you can see those two trends clearly in ServiceNow's financial performance. In Q4 2020 only 62% of new contracts were around IT workflows. And many of the leading service providers have an even lower percentage of contracts around IT workflows.

The third trend is the war for talent and with that, the unavoidable acceleration of M&A activity. Given the scarcity of talent, ServiceNow pure plays are being acquired by the GSIs. The most recent examples are NTT DATA acquiring Acorio and Cognizant gobbling up Linium. Both pure-plays had a strong focus on the US market. But we have also seen private equity (PE) firm Sunstone Partners acquire three ServiceNow pure-plays (Evergreen Systems, Cerna Solutions, and Novo/Scale) to create a new pure play challenger with global ambitions. It will be intriguing to see how this new company called Thirdera will fare.

So against the background of those trends and developments how are service providers reacting to this and who is standing out from the crowd?

Pivoting to broader transformational programs where the platform is being taken beyond IT workflows into what ServiceNow calls ESM ( i.e. customer and employee workflows) and more recently even into industry-led solutions is where the wheat is being separated from the chaff. It is here where the leaders like Accenture, Infosys, KPMG, EY, and DXC Technology are standing out. Many clients are looking for more than just implementation services that are commoditizing fast and that are often driven out of offshore factories. Put in other words we are seeing the OneOffice mindset come through. Organizations are progressing toward a more holistic data model and are looking to drive workflows across organizational boundaries. Beyond the leaders Atos stands out as the leader in the “Voice of the Customer”, IBM has made significant progress and is building out deep industry solutions while LTI gets strong client references for highly scaled IT workflow projects.

However, outside of the usual suspects, the unsung heroes of the ServiceNow ecosystem are often the leading pureplays or boutiques. For example, Enable Professional Services is the champion in Australia and Asia with strong ESM credentials while Plat4formation is at the cusp of innovation in manufacturing and beyond. Cask excels with a transformation focus in the US market while GlideFast has a strong sales momentum in the same market as well as a high CSAT score. As an analyst engaging with these organizations is immensely rewarding as you glean so much more information about the market.

Has Bill McDermott made a big difference, in your view?

There many ways of looking at it, Phil. For starters, he is a brilliant sales guy. I remember him from my days at Gartner donkey's years back when he was heading up sales there. Looking at it from the ServiceNow angle, Bill’s tenure marks a new phase in their corporate development. His predecessors built the core functionality and established the brand. The next phase is strongly accelerated growth. You can compare this to the evolution of Salesforce. Therefore, the next logical step is verticalization. Bill hasn’t devised the strategy but he is excellent at communicating it. He keeps talking about ServiceNow being the platform of platforms. Which is a clever way of emphasizing cross-functional workflows. Yet, those workflows only happen through integration with all the applications and toolsets.

Having said that, there is a bit of a cult cropping up. Almost all the service providers we talk to point to “having discussions with Bill” and quite frankly just drinking the Kool-aid. But as the platform is being expanded into completely new use cases, having this communication “magnet” is immensely helpful. And we should keep in mind that ServiceNow has always avoided being pigeonholed. It was never the ITSM company. If anything, not too long ago it positioned itself as the “cloud company”. Now the positioning crystalizes around “Workflows for the Modern Enterprise” and as mentioned, the notion of the platform of platforms. Given the heterogeneity of the capabilities, having a highly visible figurehead is immensely helpful.

We recently saw ServiceNow acquire one of the small RPA providers, IntelliBot. What was that all about Tom? Why did they opt for a small firm in this space and not go for one of the larger RPA firms?

What appears to get lost in much of the 'excited' commentary of the Intellibot acquisition is that we have to move beyond a siloed mindset. This is not about RPA or AIOPs. This should be about moving toward cross-functional workflows. Put another way, ServiceNow is not entering the RPA market. As with all its acquisitions, it is looking to re-platform the capabilities of Intellibot. Or put yet another way, it will not offer Intellibot as a stand-alone offer.  The aim is to expand the workflow experience toward the automation of legacy systems. Intellibot’s low code credentials have the additional bonus of allowing users to create automation. Therefore, comparisons to the leading RPA provider are misguided. This is a tuck-in acquisition that allows the integration of legacy applications and data sources. As such, this is more akin to SAP acquiring Contextor. For SAP the direction of travel is opposite to ServiceNow. Rather than allaying concerns of clients to migrate to the new world of HANA, ServiceNow is the cloud-based innovation that is aiming to integrate with the plethora of legacy systems. They aim to offer a connector to all leading applications and tools etc. Deeper process intelligence capabilities are the next logical steps, but again only focused around ServiceNow data, not as a competitor to the likes of Celonis.

You invented the "Intelligent Automation Continuum" during your earlier days with HFS.  Is that still relevant, or have you changed your thinking? Are enterprises starting with basic RPA before graduating to more sophisticated technologies or is something else happening? 

As a failed historian, it is always a tad indulgent for me to go down memory lane. To some degree, I am amazed that the Intelligent Automation Continuum is still being talked about and that clients still find value in it. While the market has moved on, the thought-process behind the Continuum remains valid, I would argue. But as with many things, automation really is in the eye of the beholder. For me, Intelligent Automation was always about end-to-end process automation and the need to integrate and orchestrate both legacy technologies as well as innovative offerings such as the cloud. But I was expecting a convergence of IT and business scenarios. So much so that I declared “RPA is dead” back in 2016 just to make a point.

Looking at some of the more detailed discussions on the Continuum, the idea was never that you have to start with basic RPA to progress to more sophisticated technologies as you put it, Phil, but rather two other fundamental points. First, that all the approaches and technologies plotted across that Continuum are both overlapping and interdependent. Therefore, clients have to find ways of orchestrating those. Second, the direction of travel is toward unstructured data and probably less obvious toward less well-defined processes. Cognitive and artificial intelligence is meant to overcome the limitations of these two dimensions.

And with that, we are back to ServiceNow. The cross-functional workflows and the integration capabilities of ServiceNow’s Integration Hub are taking us back to those discussions to progress toward end-to-end automation and decouple routine service delivery from labor arbitrage. We have to re-focus on those outcomes rather than getting side-tracked by the task automation pushed by the RPA incumbents. It is here where the ever-expanding capabilities of ServiceNow are coming in. But to be frank, I don’t think the RPA camp has taken too much notice of how much ServiceNow has changed.

So finally, Tom, what will be we talking about in the next couple of years as we see AIOps matures and other data-centric technologies become more prominent? How are operational process solutions going to take shape?

For me, it is really building on the points that I was just trying to make. The focus should be on the convergence of IT and business and enabling this cross-functional mindset to overcome organizational silos that we keep discussing in the context of the OneOffice. But to get there, we need enterprise-wide service management and monitoring. Yet, we are still miles away from getting even close to that. There are many missing pieces on that journey. But I expect deep investments around operationalizing Data Science, be it around process intelligence or AIOPs.  The focus must be on integrating disparate inputs including metadata from logs or data that is adjacent to the actual process.  However, the ability to ingest disparate sets of information has to be matched by the ability to execute and ultimately automate actions. Over time we have to progress to the non-deterministic application of dynamic scripts. Thus, this is also more about the platforms such as ServiceNow and  Celonis, rather than about all those points solutions. I am tempted to close out with the thought process behind the Continuum: the focus on end-to-end automation and the need for integration and orchestration. But then again, markets rarely evolve rationally.

HFS Premium subscribers can click here to access their full copy of the 2021 ServiceNow Services Top 10 Report

Posted in: Cloud ComputingDigital TransformationIT Outsourcing / IT Services

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The big digital flip: 60% of staff going back to the office

May 23, 2021 | Phil Fersht

What a difference six more months of staring into the digital abyss has made

When we interviewed leadership from 400 Global 2000 enterprises at the end of last year only 37% saw them returning to an in-office environment.  Our very latest HFS Pulse study, covering 800 Global 2000 enterprises, clearly shows a marked shift towards sending staff back to the office, with a 60% ratio of staff expected to be office-based over the next year:

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We're entering a hybrid reality, where digital and physical work cultures are blended

The digital exuberance of 2020, where declarations from many leading enterprises - the likes of Unilever, Hitachi, Mastercard, Google and Amazon - that they had become "work-from-anywhere enterprises" is clearly losing steam as so many enterprises have struggled to maintain a motivating, dynamic culture. Employees - from leadership down to interns - are burned out with the sheer monotony of a 100% digital environment and the inability to whiteboard ideas, share ideas, collaborate on process design and embrace emerging tech.  This is especially the case with Gen-Z and Millennial staff who are desperate to get back to an office environment.  In fact, many are choosing to work for firms that are embracing an in-office culture - something we have already seen happening aggressively in the call center environment (download POV here).

Bottom-line:  We're seeing a significant "digital-flip" towards an in-office model

We can't deny the experience of the last year has driven a genuine need to configure business operating models to function in a remote virtual environment, as most businesses simply can no longer limp along with on-premise systems, fragmented processes, and an inability to operate in the cloud.  However, as we evolve towards a new reality where we can really visualize a physical future for businesses, it's also become clear that businesses are struggling to function entirely in the cloud and depend more than ever on a people-driven culture.  Why is this?

Businesses thrive on people and technology empowers us, not dictates how we work.  While many businesses struggled - or failed completely - during the pandemic, many have thrived as costs have been decimated and a return to growth has created so many new markets to exploit and customer demand to satisfy.  This has also created a highly fluid job market, where people can get hired rapidly over Zoom and staff can dictate where they want to work.  Companies with strong, dynamic leaders who inspire staff to learn new things, collaborate together, and focus on purposes beyond mere profit and efficiency are fast becoming venues where ambitious staff want to apply themselves.  While much can be achieved in a pure remote model, it's simply not sustainable for a healthy, energizing work environment in the medium-long term.  Running data and processes in the cloud is critical to keep companies operating effectively, but those are merely the baseline table-stakes to survive in this new hybrid reality.  Technology is critical to provide the infrastructure to exist, but it doesn't dictate the business model... people do.

There is only so much you can achieve remotely.  We've talked to hundreds of executives over the past year, and they all complain about the same thing - they are managing an almost-unmanageable amount of internal meetings over video calls, simply to keep the wheels on basic task management and accountability.  Simply put, it's becoming increasingly complex and awkward to run business operations in a remote model where training is a huge challenge, where motivating people is almost impossible, where getting beyond the basics of keeping activities functioning is a huge challenge.  Communicating, collaborating, idea-sharing, white-boarding etc are critical for taking businesses forwards and driving real innovation.  They are also critical for helping employees become comfortable with change, to be comfortable with automating mundane elements of their jobs, and to become adept at embracing ways of accessing the data needed to exploit market opportunities.  With industry lines blurring, supply chains fragmenting and new opportunities and challenges springing up at a breathtaking pace, the time to bring people back together is fast-arriving, and so many enterprise leaders are now seeing this in spades.

Posted in: Cloud ComputingDigital OneOfficeGlobal Workforce and Talent

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Holy Moly... It's Rajan Kohli!

May 13, 2021 | Phil FershtSarah LittleShantanu Tewari

Rajan Kohli is now President, Wipro's Integrated Digital, Engineering and Application Services (iDEAS)

Rajan Kohli is quite possibly one of the coolest and calmest global leaders in today's services industry, at a time when the speed and the pace of change bounce between hot and scalding. Are things moving as fast as clients want? And what about the internal pace of change? Wipro has recently completed both a major restructuring under new CEO Thierry Delaporte and the eye-catching acquisition of Capco in the past few weeks, so how are they really pulling it together to deliver the value clients so urgently seek?

Rajan now leads Wipro iDEAS (Integrated Digital, Engineering and Application Services), one of the firm's two new global business lines, so I spent some time with him to wade into those waters.... after his daily run through Central Park. Here's a peek into the conversation...

Phil Fersht, CEO and Chief Analyst, HFS Research: It is great to have you back on here again Rajan. I think we last spoke on HFS about three or four years ago, so quite a lot has happened since then with you, your career, and with Wipro. For the benefit of everyone here, maybe you could just give us a rundown on yourself again, and where you have evolved from, to the position that you are in today. Then we can talk a bit more about how you are hoping to take things forward in the new setup at Wipro.

Rajan Kohli, President and Managing Partner, Wipro iDEAS (Integrated Digital, Engineering, and Application Services Business Line): Absolutely. The pleasure is all mine, Phil. I think, when we last spoke, I had just taken over as the leader of Wipro Digital, and Wipro was making a big bet on digital in that space. Prior to that role, I was head of banking and financial services, and before that, I had been the Chief Marketing Officer at Wipro. But most of my time had been in leadership roles in our financial services business. We set up Wipro Digital in 2014, and I’d been leading Wipro Digital until a quarter back.

If you remember, Phil, our initial hypothesis was that in Wipro Digital we’ll develop capabilities that are differentiating, capabilities that don’t currently sit in any part of Wipro, and then, over a period, we’ll move other parts of Wipro under Wipro Digital so that we can do an end-to-end digital proposition for our clients. And that is the journey we were on.

 

“Through the massive restructure that Wipro had… we added the digital experience parts of Wipro’s business into Wipro Digital, then we added application modernization. With this latest reorganization, Wipro has now added all of engineering, all of applications, all of data also under this new group called iDEAS.”

 

Earlier this year, through the massive restructure that Wipro had, we have continued that journey forward. Initially, we added the digital experience parts of Wipro’s business into Wipro Digital, then we added application modernization. With this latest reorganization, Wipro has now added all of engineering, all of applications, all of data also under this new group called iDEAS.

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Posted in: Cloud ComputingDigital TransformationDigital OneOffice

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HFS adds more beans to fuel healthcare research - meet Rohan Kulkarni

May 09, 2021 | Phil FershtRohan Kulkarni

Rohan Kulkarni is Research Vice President, Healthcare, at HFS

We're firmly on our path to view the world through industry lenses at HFS research, as we see value chains across sectors merge, and the needs to be hyper-connected changing before our eyes - with suppliers, customers, partners, governments, etc grouping into new value ecosystems as the world finds its feet post-pandemic.

Who could have predicted the reinvention and emergence of food services as a whole new industry, such as the complete digitization of banking and retail, the shift in insurance to becoming a sales/marketing-driven industry, and the reemergence of the travel industry in this pandemic and post-pandemic eta?  But perhaps there have been no more fundamental changes to an industry value chain than what has transpired - and continues to evolve - in healthcare.  The need for rapid, quality patient data, economic data, cloud migration, and supply-chain reinvention has never been so critical to driving government, enterprise, and individual decision-making in the world of health, life sciences, and pharmaceutical production.  

Without further ado, let's delve into the views, ideas, and plans being driven by our latest analyst addition, Rohan Kulkarni, fresh from his accolades as a master of perfect pints...

Phil Fersht, Founder, CEO and Chief Analyst, HFS.  Before we get to all the work stuff, Rohan, can you share a little bit about yourself….your background, what gets you up in the morning?

Rohan Kulkarni, Research VP Healthcare, HFS.  The opportunity to participate in the healthcare ecosystem is personal to me. Recognizing that US healthcare is sub-optimal across the key dimensions of cost, health outcomes, and experiences will impact me and most of us in the most personal ways as we grow older requires us to lean in and help make it better. I want to influence drivers that could make the care construct better in some meaningful manner.

I have been in the industry, getting on a decade and a half, leading strategy at multiple fortune 500 companies, being a product management executive & CIO at 2 different health plans while having consulted across the ecosystem. These opportunities have highlighted that the health & healthcare industry is unique in its ability to only get better in a participatory fashion. It's not just a doctor and patient equation, but rather needs all of us to do our part to stay healthy, be good patients when sick and when we get better, to stay that way. Its ongoing work for all of us all the time.

Phil - You've had a diverse career spanning several roles aligned to the healthcare industry... can you share some of your experiences over the years... what would you do all over again, and what would you definitely avoid?

Rohan - Yes, Phil, I have been lucky to traverse this path through the healthcare ecosystem as a journeyman. I am amazed at the paradoxes in the industry; on one end, the amount of money that is in the system is mind-boggling and sufficient to solve all our healthcare challenges with plenty leftover, yet on the other hand, it represents the only industrialized nation without universal health insurance. This pandemic has exposed the level of empathy the industry has, particularly the nurses and doctors whose altruism knows no bounds, yet our society today is challenged with misinformation and trust impacting care & its delivery. My point is that the healthcare industry is meant to solve a polymathic problem and we are still scratching the surface in so many ways despite all the advances.

As I indicated earlier, I have been privileged to journey through the ecosystem, meeting some wonderful people, accomplishing things that made me proud, contributing to helping reduce costs & optimize resources, and most importantly finding platforms to drive awareness to draw in more people to participate in the improvement of the ecosystem.

Phil - How critical is the role of services and technology in the healthcare industry during this time - has it changed significantly?

Rohan - I think technology and its enablement through services as we know it has been a cornerstone of healthcare’s evolution for the better part of 2 decades. As the population grows, particularly the seniors, and the prevalence of chronic conditions worsens without any evidence to suggest a radical change in behaviors, I would say that the role of technology and services in healthcare is critical, perhaps only next to what clinicians can do.

Yes, I think it has changed significantly from how data is captured and analyzed and used in diagnosis and care protocols, how it can keep patients connected to clinicians for real-time interventions, how fast we can develop vaccines, and much more. The speed from identification to solution to post solution maintenance, in my view, has been the hallmark of the last decades' extreme technology focus on healthcare.

Phil - What role do you see analysts playing as we emerge from this pandemic? Same old game, or is something new brewing? How do you intend to cover the healthcare sector?

Rohan - Health & healthcare’s success, in my view, is defined by the quality of life attributes, which will require democratization of the ecosystem and the broad participation of everyone. A key focus of that is driving awareness and engagement to help people, communities, enterprises, and governments appreciate different perspectives. To be able to bring various stakeholders together, drive robust debates and influence good sustainable solutions. I think this next chapter for analysts will differentiate between the good ones who will challenge the status quo and raise the bar, collaborate and influence industry solutions and those that will be critics.

My approach is going to include a few dimensions;

  • coverage expansion to include the entire ecosystem beyond the health plans and life science that we currently cover to healthcare providers;
  • a focus on digital health through the intersection of Healthcare & Triple-A Trifecta change agents – AI, automation, and smart analytics as well as mobility and virtualization
  • Healthcare is a polymathic problem and will require a polymathic solution; as such, I will cover healthcare’s intersections with climate change, societal changes, the food we eat, the impact of the way we work (e.g., OneOffice), and more that impact the social determinants of health.

While I do have faith in my fellow humans, I do suspect that at some point here shortly, the pandemic will be history, albeit a painful one for many. It will likely get people to go back to their old habits with perhaps a few non-material changes to their lives. As such, it is critical to driving awareness in more meaningful, personal, and even in your face ways so that together we can chart a better path forward.

Phil - What do you think we'll be talking about in healthcare when we gradually revert to a world beyond our screens?  Will we get a resurgence of energy and excitement, or will we crawl out of our caves blinded by the sunlight?

Rohan - I think that depends on where in the world you are. In the US, we were already down the path of being virtual in healthcare, and the pandemic certainly accelerated it. I suspect that momentum will continue where physical interventions are not necessary, such as primary care, nonsurgical specialist visits, etc. I believe after the initial surge of visits to the dentist, ophthalmologist, gynecologist, etc., human behavior will likely reverse to the mean, to return to most pre-pandemic behaviors. Now given the fact that we are unlikely to be at herd immunity any time soon and will likely need a booster vaccine come fall, I think a true post-pandemic scenario is still evolving.

Phil - Thanks for sharing your plans with us, Rohan. Excited to learn more from you as you get bedded in with us!

Posted in: Digital OneOfficeGovernance Practices and ToolsHealthcare

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There is no vaccine for climate change

May 05, 2021 | Phil FershtJosh MatthewsNischala Murthy Kaushik

 

How many of you even knew Earth Day was on 22nd April? And even if you did, did you care?

If there is one lesson we will eventually take from Covid, it’s the paranoia that government and business leaders' now live with: a constant fear of being caught cold by a crisis like this, ever again.  This paranoia must spur them to preventative action rather than a reliance on their ability to deliver rapid treatments. Those treatments of the symptoms simply paper over the deepest cracks of the causes - problems that remain unsolved despite all the debt we've incurred.

Barring future pandemics and world wars, which seemingly can be treated by throwing extraordinary amounts of money into science and military coffers, the next looming crisis is that of a climate meltdown. This offers the opposite problem - where the only cure is through smart and painful prevention, not quick-fire, after-the-crisis inoculation. 

Sustainability must become a native part of businesses, policy, and our day-to-day lives

This means people need to be educated, they actually have to listen and then change their behaviors. No-one really took the threat of nuclear war seriously until the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were experienced. The world was able to recover from the horrors of 'limited' nuclear war, the experiences, hopefully, proving to be preventative for many more decades to come. But there is no second chance if we continue to destroy our planet.  There can be no "lessons-learned" when the world runs out of water.... Sadly, our recent study of 150 C-suite executives across the global 2000 shows us that sustainability only ranks fifteenth as a "fit-for-purpose" measure - no change at all from pre-Covid times:

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In this vein, we had our roaming story-teller Nischala Murthy Kaushik spend time with analyst Josh Matthews, who spends a lot of time thinking through how we tackle sustainability and climate change, in addition to spending his spare time as a counsellor on Cambridge City Council in the UK...

Nischala Murthy Kaushik (CMO, HFS):  Let’s start with the basics, Josh... What is the definition of ‘sustainability,’ and why is it important in 2021?

Josh Matthews (Assoc Research Director, HFS):  The best place to start by checking out the UN Sustainable Goals. These 17 Goals cover all the ambitions we should have as a planet, whether its tackling climate change, lifting people out of poverty, restoring and protecting biodiversity, or eliminating inequality. These challenges don’t stand alone—they’re heavily

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Posted in: IT Outsourcing / IT ServicesSustainability

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Campbell soup adds flavor as Syniti acquires DMR to create biggest data software and services pureplay

May 03, 2021 | David CushmanDon RyanPhil Fersht

Enterprise data businesses Syniti and Data Migration Resources have joined forces in a move they believe makes them the biggest data software platform and services pureplay in this, or any other, town.  And we see no reason to doubt their claim. With the thirst for quality data at a pandemic-driven all-time-high to base critical enterprise decisions, this merger is perfectly timed.

Under the Syniti banner – and with Syniti CEO Kevin Campbell remaining at the helm – the new company has the resources and global footprint to answer the ‘Are these guys big enough?’ question when it comes to tackling the most complex data requirements of the top echelons of the global 2000. The Newco claims it offers the largest collection of data specialists and an AI-driven platform converging capabilities across data management, analytics, and governance.  With Campbell energized and back in his element, who drove one of the first BPO pureplays Exult, before he inspired the multi-billion dollar BPO and technology growth trajectories in Accenture (see blog), you have to believe the newly re-invented king of data services is taking his new company somewhere very interesting...

Tie up comes after record growth for SAP-certified Syniti

Both parties share a common focus on people and intend that the new scale of the organization will give their prized data specialists the opportunity and desire to stick around to build long careers and the culture to attract more.

Syniti enjoyed record growth in 2020 (with some regions reporting more than 275% growth YoY). It reported the best Q1 results in its 23-year history at the end of April 2021. It’s riding a wave of rapidly increasing investment in smart analytics (Exhibit 1). Almost three-quarters see investments rising either significantly, or moderately.

Exhibit 1: Do you see investments increasing, decreasing, or staying the same for smart analytics in the next 12 to 18 months?

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Syniti has been expanding from its SAP heartland (where it now holds SAP Certified Gold Enterprise Support Integration) to introduce real-time data replication with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

It is also an SAP platinum partner when it comes to helping businesses move to SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors, and SAP Ariba. SAP resells data migration software from Syniti as SAP Advanced Data Migration by Syniti. Deloitte, IBM and DXC have been Syniti’s leading SI partners to date.

Joining together offers a global footprint and platform for acceleration

Syniti and DMR have been competitors in the North American market – each with facilities in India. Syniti has expanded to Europe and Asia-Pacific and DMR has gone into Latin America. The plan is to scale up globally, making use of the combined power of their India operations and sharing sales teams and the best of the products, tools, ideas, methods and techniques applied by each business. The aim is to accelerate their individual growth through combination – staking a bigger claim to the rapidly expanding demand for enterprise data management than either could alone.

The combined solution portfolio - comprised of the Syniti Knowledge Platform, DMR CONCENTO, Rapid Data Governance (RDG), and other software solutions, offers customers and partners aggregated, integrated capabilities to address a wide range of data-led business and IT requirements.

DMR products will remain supported into the foreseeable future and the combined might of the organizations will be applied to accelerate the ongoing development of DMR’s CONCENTO RDG – a potentially powerful differentiator if it delivers on its promise of cutting implementation costs by up to 50%.

Bridge Growth Partners are the majority owner of the new enterprise with DMR CEO Ryan Rodenburg joining the executive board with a ‘CEO of the Americas’ remit.

Bottom Line: Effective combination of assets holds the key to long term success

Thousands of hours of teaming ahead of the official merger proved the two parties can work together well. But the long-term success of the deal is likely to reside in how effective the new organization can be in making 1 + 1 = 3 when linking up its assets in a range of client-value-creating combinations. The new organization makes for a more balanced products/services company going forward, something the market is starting to reward.  What is critical now is to encourage Syniti's energized service provider partners, especially Deloitte, IBM, Accenture and DXC to increase their focus and staff training on the bigger, badder Syniti.

In short, we need to understand that data is the strategy to get us ahead of our markets. Here are five steps we must take:

  1. Get The Data to Win In your Market. This is where you must align your data needs to deliver on business strategy.  This is where you clarify your vision and purpose.
  2. Re-think processes to get the data, Then you must re-think what should be added, eliminated, simplified across your workflows to source this critical data.
  3. Design your new operational workflows in the cloud. There is simply no option but to have a plan to design processes in the cloud over three-tier web-architected applications.  In the Work-from-Anywhere Economy, our global talent has to come together to create our borderless, completely digital business.  This is the true environment for real digital transformation in action.
  4. Automate processes and data.  Automation is not your strategy.  It is the necessary discipline to ensure your processes provide the data - at speed - to achieve your business outcomes. Hence you have to approach all future automation in the cloud if you want your processes to run effectively end-to-end.
  5. Apply AI to data flows to anticipate at speed. Once you have successfully automated processes in the cloud, it is easy to administer AI solutions to deliver at speed in self-improving feedback loops.  This is where you apply digital assistants, computer vision, machine learning, and other techniques to refine the efficacy of your data.  AI is how we engage with our data to refine ourselves as digital organizations where we only want a single office to operate with agility to do things faster, cheaper, and more streamlined than we ever thought possible.  AI helps us predict and anticipate how to beat our competitors and delight our customers, reaching both outside and inside of our organizations to pull the data we need to make critical decisions at speed.

Posted in: Analytics and Big DataIT Outsourcing / IT ServicesDigital OneOffice

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