Diamond Consultants' report: "Staying Green While the Global Economy Sees Red"

by Editor 4/21/2009 3:53:00 PM
The notion of cutting costs while investing in corporate environmental initiatives might sound counterintuitive, but one major U.S. manufacturer is doing just that—and will save $10 million in the first year alone as a result of the company’s energy efficiency program while bolstering the manufacturer’s environmental sustainability.

It’s not as simple as committing resources to “green” projects. Rather, it takes a coordinated effort across a company’s business operations to see results—and to add money to the bottom line, according to a new report from Diamond Management & Technology Consultants.

In the report, “Staying ‘Green’ While the Global Economy Sees Red,” Diamond makes the case for managing a company’s green initiatives as a singular program, not as a series of one-offs and unrelated projects that aren’t aligned with business objectives.

“Properly managed, green initiatives can help companies lower their overall expenses and edge out competitors as new regulations come into play,” says Darin Yug, co-author of the report and a partner in Diamond’s Enterprise Practice. “A successful green agenda will create synergies between sustainable business efficiencies and environmental compliance.”

As deep as the recession is, it has not changed the key tenets of “becoming green” in the corporate world. “We see two fundamental reasons why it remains relevant for companies to pursue green agendas: achieving high ROI with targeted initiatives, and the ability to meet—and exceed—new regulations,” says Yug.

To obtain a complete copy of Diamond’s report, send an email to GreenAgenda@diamondconsultants.com.

The Opportunities in Building a ‘Portfolio’

“Developing an effective green strategy will involve changes to a company’s business design, and management will have a new set of guidelines for developing strategic goals, policies, processes, and key metrics,” says Richard Findlay, co-author of the report and a partner in Diamond’s Healthcare Practice. “The starting point should be a quick, four-to-six-week assessment of the enterprise and, as we’ve seen, the end result can be tens of millions of dollars in annual savings.”

Shifting priorities away from sustainability projects may seem rational in the current environment, but treating a portfolio of green initiatives as an integral part of a company’s economic recovery strategy is not simply good corporate citizenship—it can be a key component of a broader growth strategy.

Companies that take the recession as an opportunity to put their green goals in line with business goals and make targeted green investments will stand the best chance of creating short- and long-term value, according to Diamond’s report.

Green initiatives that are managed through a singular “portfolio” can play an integral role in reducing expenses for raw materials, packaging, transportation costs, and other areas across the supply chain. Corporate initiatives of all types must fight for funding in today’s economy, and green initiatives that have high ROI should retain their support among senior executives.

In addition, company executives must be prepared to address the double-edged sword of public policy. Politicians across the globe are seeking ways to incorporate sustainability into economic recovery programs with large amounts of economic stimulus money being allocated to environmental-focused programs. Along those lines, the U.S. government and other global leaders who inject taxpayer funds into such initiatives will inevitably insist on new regulations.

“Each company must chart its own course, but many companies cannot afford to miss out on stimulus funding from a competitive standpoint,” says Findlay. In the United States, $37.9 billion will be devoted to energy efficiency projects, $27.8 billion for renewable energy, and $11.6 billion for public transit investments.

Measuring Green Maturity

Companies that remain ahead of the pack in terms of green maturity, by properly managing their green initiatives and maintaining flexibility in the face of new requirements will stand the best chance of increasing profitability through sustainable initiatives and gaining a competitive edge.

“If we look at it in terms of a ‘Green Maturity Scale,’ companies with budding sustainability programs might be on Level 1 or 2, focusing primarily on regulatory needs and one-off projects” says Yug. “But as companies advance toward a top tier of Level 5, they develop the program governance, portfolio management, and key metrics that are vital to gaining a competitive edge.”

Procter & Gamble provides a striking example of what a “mature” green organization can accomplish. The company noted in its 2008 sustainability report that it emitted nearly half a million fewer metrics tons of greenhouse gases in its most recent fiscal year than it did in 2002—a span of time in which the company’s global sales more than doubled, from $40 billion to $83 billion.

“Yes, the recession spells less capital to fund green projects, but we believe that companies can use green portfolios to their advantage during the economic crisis and emerge from the recession stronger and more nimble,” says Yug.

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IBM reports results for the first quarter

by Editor 4/21/2009 3:51:00 PM
IBM has posted first-quarter 2009 diluted earnings of $1.70 per share compared with diluted earnings of $1.64 per share in the first quarter of 2008, an increase of 4 percent as reported. First-quarter net income was $2.30 billion compared with $2.32 billion in the first quarter of 2008, a decrease of 1 percent. Total revenues for the first quarter of 2009 of $21.7 billion decreased 11 percent (4 percent, adjusting for currency) from the first quarter of 2008. “IBM continued to perform well in a very difficult economic environment. This was due to our long-term strategic focus: shifting into software and services, divesting of commodity businesses, and creating solutions that help clients reduce cost and conserve capital. At the same time we have a disciplined approach to cost and expense management giving us a strong financial position," said Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer.

“We are well-positioned to continue to move aggressively and leverage our strong cash performance to make the most of the opportunities that arise, including smarter planet initiatives and other strategic options. We remain ahead of pace for our 2010 roadmap of $10 to $11 per share."

IBM said that it expects full-year 2009 earnings of at least $9.20 per share.

From a geographic perspective, the Americas’ first-quarter revenues were $9.3 billion, a decrease of 7 percent (3 percent, adjusting for currency) from the 2008 period. Revenues from Europe/Middle East/Africa were $7.2 billion, down 18 percent (3 percent, adjusting for currency). Asia-Pacific revenues decreased 6 percent (3 percent, adjusting for currency) to $4.8 billion. OEM revenues were $461 million, down 34 percent compared with the 2008 first quarter. Revenues from the company’s growth markets organization decreased 12 percent (up 4 percent, adjusting for currency) and represented 17 percent of geographic revenues.

Total Global Services revenues decreased 10 percent (2 percent, adjusting for currency). Global Technology Services segment revenues decreased 10 percent (1 percent, adjusting for currency) to $8.8 billion. Global Business Services segment revenues decreased 10 percent (4 percent, adjusting for currency) to $4.4 billion. IBM signed services contracts totaling $12.5 billion, at actual rates, a decrease of 1 percent (up 10 percent, adjusting for currency), including 16 contracts greater than $100 million. Shorter-term signings were $5.5 billion, a decrease of 14 percent (5 percent, adjusting for currency). Longer-term signings increased 14 percent (27 percent, adjusting for currency) to $7.0 billion. The estimated services backlog at March 31 was $126 billion at actual rates compared with $130 billion at year-end 2008.

Revenues from the Software segment were $4.5 billion, a decrease of 6 percent (up 2 percent, adjusting for currency) compared with the first quarter of 2008; pre-tax income increased 5 percent. Revenues from IBM’s middleware products, which primarily include WebSphere, Information Management, Tivoli, Lotus and Rational products, were $3.6 billion, a decrease of 5 percent (up 4 percent, adjusting for currency) versus the first quarter of 2008. Operating systems revenues of $492 million decreased 7 percent (flat, adjusting for currency) compared with the prior-year quarter. For the WebSphere family of software products, which facilitate customers’ ability to manage a wide variety of business processes using open standards to interconnect applications, data and operating systems, revenues increased 5 percent year over year. Revenues from Information Management software, which enables clients to leverage information on demand, decreased 8 percent. Revenues from Tivoli software, infrastructure software that enables clients to centrally manage networks including security and storage capability, decreased 1 percent, and revenues from Lotus software, which allows collaborating and messaging by clients in real-time communication and knowledge management, decreased 12 percent. Revenues from Rational software, integrated tools to improve the processes of software development, increased 9 percent.

Revenues from the Systems and Technology segment totaled $3.2 billion for the quarter, down 23 percent (18 percent, adjusting for currency). Systems revenues decreased 22 percent (15 percent, adjusting for currency). Revenues from the converged System p products decreased 2 percent compared with the 2008 period. Revenues from System z mainframe server products decreased 19 percent compared with the year-ago period. Total delivery of System z computing power, which is measured in MIPS (millions of instructions per second), increased 18 percent. Revenues from the System x servers decreased 27 percent. Revenues from System Storage decreased 20 percent, and revenues from Retail Store Solutions decreased 38 percent. Revenues from Microelectronics OEM decreased 36 percent.

Global Financing segment revenues decreased 9 percent (flat, adjusting for currency) in the first quarter to $578 million.

The company’s total gross profit margin was 43.4 percent in the 2009 first quarter compared with 41.5 percent in the 2008 first-quarter period, led by improving margins in services and software. Total expense and other income decreased 9 percent to $6.3 billion compared with the prior-year period.

SG&A expense decreased 6 percent to $5.3 billion including workforce rebalancing charges of approximately $265 million. RD&E expense of $1.5 billion decreased 6 percent compared with the year-ago period. Intellectual property and custom development income decreased to $268 million compared with $274 million a year ago. Other (income) and expense was income of $304 million including a net gain of $298 million relating to the sale of certain elements of the company’s logistics process, compared with income of $125 million from a year ago. Interest expense decreased to $136 million compared with $178 million in the prior year.

IBM’s tax rate in the first-quarter 2009 was 26.5 percent compared with 27.5 percent in the first quarter of 2008, a decline of 1.0 point.

The weighted-average number of diluted common shares outstanding in the first-quarter 2009 was 1.35 billion compared with 1.41 billion shares in the same period of 2008. As of March 31, 2009, there were 1.32 billion basic common shares outstanding.

Debt, including Global Financing, totaled $31.0 billion, compared with $33.9 billion at year-end 2008. From a management segment view, Global Financing debt decreased $1.0 billion from year-end 2008 to a total of $23.4 billion at March 31, 2009, resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.0 to 1. Non-global financing debt totaled $7.6 billion, a decrease of $1.9 billion since year-end 2008, resulting in a debt-to-capitalization ratio of 42.4 percent from 48.7 percent, which reflects the adoption of SFAS No. 160 referenced in the Consolidated Statement of Financial Position.

IBM ended the first quarter of 2009 with $12.3 billion of cash on hand and generated free cash flow of $1.0 billion, up $450 million year over year, excluding Global Financing receivables. The company returned nearly $2.5 billion to shareholders through $675 million in dividends and $1.8 billion of share repurchases. The balance sheet remains strong, and the company is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities.

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Management Consultancy Recruitment Channel Report 2009

by Editor 4/20/2009 4:46:00 PM
Top-Consultant.com has released the 2009 Management Consultancy Recruitment Channel Report. In its eighth year, the study aims to help consultancy recruiters and job candidates improve their odds in the job market in the challenging economic climate.

The Management Consultancy Recruitment Channel Report consists of two surveys: a survey of 877 management consulting job candidates from all the major consulting firms, including Accenture, Capgemini, PA Consulting, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, PwC, EDS, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP, and a survey of 142 recruiters working in the consulting industry.

The report covers such areas as recruitment trends and budgets in the downturn, recruiters’ expectations, industry sectors expected to generate most recruitment activity within consulting, functional areas of consulting expected to be most active this year, most likely source of hires, retention rates in 2009, most frequent reasons why people leave consulting and most popular jobs they move on to, recruitment channels, candidate attraction, most popular recruitment channels, past, present and future trends in candidate application behaviour, candidate intentions, and most popular individual recruitment consultants, recruitment agencies and internet job site suppliers.

The Recruitment Channel Report, available at Top-Consultant.com, is sponsored by Mindbench.  

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BearingPoint inches closer to finalizing deals with PwC and Deloitte

by Editor 4/20/2009 4:42:00 PM
Consulting firm BearingPoint has signed definitive agreements with PricewaterhouseCoopers, under which PwC will buy a portion of BearingPoint’s Commercial Services practice and related Global Delivery Centers in North America. The deal is worth $25 million.

The acquisition is expected to be complete by June 30, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and the rules of the bankruptcy court. This means that, if BearingPoint gets a better offer, it must consider it and get the court's approval.

On March 23, BearingPoint revealed a similar agreement with Deloitte, under which it would sell a portion of its Public Services practice in North America for $350 million. The acquisition was approved by the court on April 17, also subject to the satisfaction of closing conditions.

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Accenture wins IT outsourcing contract from the BMW Group

by Editor 4/16/2009 4:42:00 PM
IT consulting firm Accenture has won a five-year contract from the BMW Group to consolidate the car maker's technology processes. The financial details of the deal have not been released.

The consultancy will provide support to the BMW Group in a number of areas, including production, sales, logistics, human resources and finance. Under the terms of the deal, Accenture will also collaborate with BMW to make its technology operations as efficient as possible.

"Top companies such as BMW are continually refining their distinctive capabilities, including those related to lean enterprises and efficient back-office services,” said Richard Spitzer, managing director of automotive practice at Accenture. "BMW's application management strategy will enable the company to take advantage of significantly improved services and processes, all from a single provider."

Find the latest Accenture jobs on our consultancy job board.

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Nebulas Virtualise offers consulting services to help businesses with server and storage virtualisation

by Editor 4/16/2009 4:20:00 PM
Nebulas Virtualise is a vital business unit of Nebulas Solutions Group. It offers a wide range of virtualisation services and solutions, from virtualisation consulting and training courses to virtual desktop solutions, virtual desktop infrastructure management, file and storage virtualisation solutions, P2V server consolidation, and disaster recovery solutions.

The Nebulas Virtualise team of experts will help any organisation with the move to a virtual server & network, power management solutions, data centre move, and generally driving greater efficiencies with better business software management and reduced energy consumption.

Nebulas will start any virtualisation migration with a pre-assessment and server virtualisation feasibility analysis to first find out what all the potential benefits of virtualisation are for the organisation and how file and storage virtualisation can help the business cut unnecessary costs.

Nebulas Virtualise offers the following virtualisation assessment services:

To learn more about the virtualisation solutions available to your business, please visit the Nebulas Solutions Group website.

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Deloitte named a leader in information security consulting and IT risk consulting

by Editor 4/16/2009 4:14:00 PM
Deloitte, one of the world's leading professional services organizations, has been ranked as a leader among global information security and risk consulting service providers in a March 2009 report issued by Forrester Research Inc., an independent technology and market research company.

Deloitte member firms were recognized a leader in both information security consulting and IT risk consulting in The Forrester Wave: Information Security and IT Risk Consulting, Q1 2009 report. The Forrester reports evaluate information security and IT risk consulting service providers across a set of 72 criteria that are categorized under strategy, current offering and market presence. Deloitte member firms were ranked #1 in all three categories in both evaluations. Fourteen other service providers were compared in the report.

"Recognition by Forrester as a leader in the IT risk and security arena is gratifying, certainly. Deloitte is on the frontlines with our clients every day, helping them unleash the value of their information and data effectively and efficiently, and with the confidence and trust that their most valuable data assets are protected," said Ted DeZabala, national leader of Deloitte's Security & Privacy Services practice.

"We will continue to invest in resources and establish centers of excellence in areas such as identity and access management (IAM), privacy, data protection and application security to meet the needs of our clients in the ever-changing marketplace," DeZabala added.

Forrester specifically recognized that "Deloitte offers the best of both worlds by not only having an excellent understanding of the business, but by also having the ability to integrate an IT risk mindset and a deep technical expertise into its engagements." The report continues, Deloitte "has established itself as a global leader in offering complex, large-scale information security and IT risk services."

Mark Layton, global leader, Enterprise Risk Services group added, "Deloitte's global information security and risk services practices deploy established and cutting-edge methodologies, combined with insightful thought leadership and world class talent to deliver unmatched value to their clients. We are honored by Forrester's distinction and our member firms will strive to deliver the highest standard of services to their clients for years to come."

In the area of IT Risk Consulting, Forrester's report states: "Deloitte continues to invest in resources and establish centers of excellence in areas such as identity and access management (IAM), data protection, and application security. Deloitte also had the highest growth rate of 21% in FY08."

In the area of IT security consulting, Forrester's report states: "Deloitte stands as the leader in information security consulting as well, due to its depth and breadth of services, and, most importantly, because Deloitte is able to seamlessly integrate its understanding and knowledge of the business with its delivery capabilities in the security business."

"The Forrester report is really a comprehensive view of technology risk across an organization, and it reflects our thinking that to address today's risk challenges you need an organization that can operate across that continuum," said Robert Hansen, global leader, Control Assurance group. "Deloitte firms provide their clients with the capabilities to deal with all aspects of the technology risk spectrum, including IT controls over financial reporting, from the assessment and identification of risks, designing a strategy, implementing an architected solution and evaluating operating effectiveness."

For a copy of the report visit: http://www.deloitte.com/dtt/article/0,1002,cid%253D252819,00.html

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IBM launches new consulting unit for business analytics and optimization services

by Editor 4/15/2009 4:30:00 PM
IBM has launched a new consulting organization that will offer advanced business analytics and business optimization.

A recent study by IBM’s Institute for Business Value reveals that half of all business executives do not have access to information in their organization that they need to do their job. It also shows that eight out of ten business leaders make important decisions with missing or untrusted information.

IBM Business Analytics and Optimization Services will draw on the company's deep expertise in vertical industries, research, mathematics and information management to help clients both improve the speed and quality of business decisions while better understanding the consequences and business outcomes of those decisions.

This is the first time IBM Global Business Services has launched a new service unit since it was formed in 2002, following the acquisition of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting.

The IBM Business Analytics and Optimization service line is helmed by Fred Balboni, who previously led IBM’s retail industry consulting business, and a team of analytics experts in five core areas: Strategy, Business Intelligence and Busines Performance Management, Advance Analytics and Optimization, Enterprise Information Management and Content Management. More details are available here:

www.ibm.com/gbs/analytics

Frank Kern, senior vice president of IBM Global Business Services, says: "Our clients understand they're operating in a competitive environment where more than ever before, in addition to being fast, they have to be right. That requires something beyond the traditional notion of 'sense and respond. That drives the need to speed business decisions, understand the consequences of any decision and predict outcomes with more certainty -- in short, moving to a new level of enterprise intelligence."

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Hitachi Consulting buys UK IT consulting firm

by Editor 4/14/2009 4:29:00 PM
Hitachi Consulting, a global IT strategies and solutions leader, has announced the acquisition of Edenbrook Ltd., a UK-based information technology consulting firm that specializes in delivering Oracle and Microsoft solutions.

Hitachi Consulting, based in Tokyo, Japan, has been active on the European market since 2006. It has offices in London, Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon and Frankfurt. The firm previously acquired London-based management consulting firm Impact Plus in April 2007.

Founded in 2001, the UK IT consulting firm helps businesses implement advanced programs to improve efficiency. It is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and an Oracle Certified Advantage Partner. The firm’s clients include Virgin Media, BUPA, Lloyds TSB, easyJet and Whitbread. David Kilpatrick, Managing Director of Edenbrook, said: “Joining with Hitachi Consulting is an important milestone in the development of our business, allowing us to offer greater breadth and depth of capability to both our existing clients and the wider market place. Through Hitachi Consulting’s strength in the United States, Europe and Asia, we can now also serve better the global needs of our clients.”

Mr. Kilpatrick, who has 19 years’ experience in the IT consulting industry, and was previously at Oracle UK, will become Managing Vice President of Hitachi Consulting in the UK.

“This expansion demonstrates Hitachi Consulting’s ongoing commitment to serving clients across Europe with strategic service,” said Ismael Fernandez de la Mata, Chief Operating Officer for Hitachi Consulting Europe.

“We are excited about the addition of great consultants, clients and capabilities in the UK to better service our joint clients and the market,” said David Bailey, current Hitachi Consulting-UK Managing Vice President, who will move on to an international development role for Hitachi Consulting. “With more than 300 consultants now in the UK and 50 in an associated offshore delivery centre in Pune, India, Hitachi Consulting is well positioned to serve both our UK based clients and the needs of our global clients in the USA, Asia and Europe, when linking our consulting and solution delivery capabilities around the globe.”

Hitachi Consulting President and CEO Phil Parr added: “Now that our business in Europe is well established, adding the proven capabilities of Edenbrook is the next critical step in our growth plan. Investing at this time, in a difficult economic environment, underlines our commitment to serving our consulting client base, placing us in a strong position in the consulting industry globally.”

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Consulting Times – April 2009 issue

by Editor 4/9/2009 4:56:00 PM
It consulting jobs,consultancy jobs
The new issue of Consulting Times has been posted. The topics covered in April include:
  • How to secure job interviews in today’s tough economic climate
  • BearingPoint selling key business units to Deloitte and PwC
  • UK central government spend on consultants down 31% over three years
  • London First and FreshMinds Talent’s diversity initiative
  • Consultants changing the world with many little steps
  • How Twitter can open doors for you and your business
  • Consultants striking out on their own in the current climate

To read more, please visit Consulting Times.

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