Consulting Times – September 2009

by Editor 9/15/2009 2:22:00 PM
The September issue of Consulting Times has been posted. This month's topics include:
  • Consulting: Why we love it and hate it
  • How to learn business development skills on the job
  • Decision time looming for disillusioned consultants?
  • BearingPoint's future: Growth is on the agenda
  • Britain's got talent, but time is running out to hire it
  • Recruiting for the future of management consultancy
  • Is the recession really over?

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Axon acquires UCS' Enterprise Solutions division

by Editor 7/21/2009 5:00:00 PM
UK consulting firm Axon has bought the Enterprise Solutions unit of South Africa-based software company UCS for an initial R57m (GBP 4.35) in cash. If the Enterprise Solutions division is successful in meeting profit targets, the number could grow to R125m (GBP 9.5m). Both companies have strong ties with German business software developer SAP: HCL Axon specializes in SAP software, while Enterprise Solutions specializes in SAP implementation.

In spite of UCS' division's strong position in the South African market, the company believed that Enterprise Solutions could only achieve sustainable growth through a global partnership that would give it access to international clients and more skills. Axon fits the bill: the UK consultancy employs 4,500 SAP consultants around the globe.

Under the current deal, HCL Axon will get a bigger platform in South Africa, while UCS will be allowed to grow its international profits by providing maintenance services and support for a limited period of time. Some of the money from the deal could be used for future acquisitions, to fund UCS'organic growth.

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CSC to buy BearingPoint’s Brazilian consulting and systems integration unit

by Editor 7/14/2009 4:02:00 PM
Consulting firm BearingPoint, which filed for bankruptcy protection in February and sold its North American commercial services unit to PricewaterhouseCoopers last month, has now made an agreement to sell another one of its assets.

IT services firm Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) announced on Friday that it has made a deal to buy BearingPoint's Brazilian business unit, which employs 550 people specializing in consulting and systems integration services. The unit has offices in Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. The deal is subject to approval by the bankruptcy court and is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

CSC Chairman, President and CEO Michael W. Laphen said: "We will establish a meaningful foothold in one of the world's largest emerging markets, add capabilities that extend and complement our own and position CSC for increased success both internationally and domestically."

This is the latest asset sale for BearingPoint in recent months. In May, Deloitte completed the acquisition of the consulting firm's public services unit in North America for $350 million. On Wednesday, IT services firm Keane Inc. said it had reached an agreement to acquire assets from BearingPoint's North American public services unit.

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Dell tops customer satisfaction survey – Technology Business Research

by Editor 7/7/2009 4:19:00 PM
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Dell has received top rankings across all the recent survey reports from Technology Business Research (TBR), including IT Service and Support, corporate desktops and notebooks and x86 servers. The IT services company has earned record customer satisfaction scores for the first quarter of 2009.

Research and consulting firm Technology Business Research analyzed results received from users at large and medium corporate organizations, who rated their desktop, notebook and x86-based server installed brands. Other than getting top rankings, Dell has also earned the title of the most improved performer of the year.

“Our continued focus on delivering technology solutions that customers want and need in today’s economic and IT environment continues to pay off,” said Jan Uhrich, Vice President Global Services, Dell. “We believe that through customer feedback, we are able to grow and evolve our solutions for increased efficiency and ever-better customer satisfaction. Consistent results across multiple categories exemplify Dell’s dedication to putting customers first.”

• Corporate IT Service and Support Satisfaction – Dell achieved a No. 1 ranking for IT service and support. TBR recognized Dell as the most improved vendor in this report, noting the company’s ongoing commitment to enhancing its support services offerings. Dell ProSupport offers IT support tailored to the customers’ environment, not the outdated one-size-fits-all model.

• x86 Servers – Dell held its No. 1 position in customer satisfaction for x86-based servers. Dell showed strong results for key server attributes including overall value, overall ease of doing business and replacement parts availability. Dell recently expanded its 11th generation PowerEdge server portfolio to include new systems for SMBs and remote office locations, and high performance computing clusters.

• Notebooks – Dell ranked No. 1 in the TBR Q1 customer satisfaction survey for notebooks, continuing its leadership for the last four quarters. Dell retained its full competitive strength for repair time and notebook value and regained its competitive position for parts availability. Dell recently introduced new mobile data security solutions for its Latitude line of laptops.

• Desktops – Dell ranked No. 1 in TBR’s customer satisfaction survey for desktops, marking the 8th consecutive quarter of Dell leadership in this report. Key survey findings indicate strong improvements in Dell’s overall satisfaction, phone support satisfaction and ease of doing business in this category. Dell expanded its OptiPlex desktop line to include the OptiPlex 160, Dell’s smallest commercial desktop ever, designed for energy and space efficiency and reliability.

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Security consultancy launches voluntary benefits scheme

by Editor 7/7/2009 4:15:00 PM
Detica, UK's leading security, technology and business consulting firm, has launched a new voluntary benefits scheme for its 1,400 employees in the UK. The scheme, called Pick and Mix Extras, will among other things get Detica employees discounts from a number of retailers, including Vodafone, Comet and Asda. The new benefits scheme will run alongside the consulting firm's existing flexible benefits program.

"In these challenging financial times, we are really pleased to offer our employees such a great range of retail discounts and offers,” said Jo Eagle, reward and HR analyst at Detica. "We felt they would appreciate the opportunity to make genuine savings on everyday things, such as groceries and petrol."

Detica will also keep the employees updated on the offers available through the new benefits plan. The company is working with scheme provider Asperity Employee Benefits on a news feed that will feature regular updates on the various opportunities and advantages of the new benefits scheme.

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EDS lands an IT agreement with American Express

by Editor 7/7/2009 4:06:00 PM
EDS, a HP company and one of the world's leading technology services providers, has signed a five-year infrastructure services agreement with American Express. The deal was signed in December 2008 and its initial implementation has now been completed.

Under the terms of the deal, EDS is managing the American Express global voice and data networks as well as the end-user desktop computing environment. The technology firm will also provide more than 60,000 American Express employees in over 130 countries with various on-site services.

Matthew Robinson, chief technology officer at American Express, said: “Our goal is to drive American Express’ growth, innovation and customer service using secure technology that enables a more productive, efficient and collaborative workplace. Our partnership with EDS will enable us to do this while continuing to decrease operating costs.”

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Global IT services revenue up 8.2 percent in 2008 – Gartner

by Editor 6/12/2009 10:50:00 AM
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The latest study from information technology consulting firm Gartner, Inc. shows that global IT services revenue rose 8.2 percent in 2008, to $806 billion, from $745 billion in 2007. IBM remains the worldwide market leader, with 7.3 percent of the global market share, followed by HP (4.8 percent), Accenture (2.9 percent), Fujitsu (2.5 percent), and CSC (2.1 percent).

Kathryn Hale, research vice president for Gartner’s worldwide IT services group, says: “Vendors had six to eight months of ‘business as usual’ in 2008 and then approximately four months encountering the beginning of the global economic downturn, featuring widespread cost restrictions and cost reductions. The only two segments of the market that grew less than forecast were IT management and process management. This is particularly surprising, because in economic hard times the potential cost savings from outsourcing usually keeps this market segment buoyant. However, apparently buyer hesitation to commit to the long-term requirements of outsourcing agreements took precedence in 2008.”

The full report - “Market Share: IT Services, Worldwide Rankings, 2008.” – is available on Gartner’s site

Worldwide IT Services Vendors by Revenue in 2008 (Millions of U.S. Dollars)

IBM – 58,891

HP – 38,584

Accenture – 23,732

Fujitsu – 20,432

CSC – 17,112

Others – 647,172

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Consulting Times – June 2009 issue

by Editor 6/12/2009 10:45:00 AM

The new issue of Consulting Times is now available at

The June topics include:

  • Management consultancy sector's quick response to recession
  • The Institute of Business Consulting (IBM) launchung 2009 IB Consulting Awards
  • Accenture changing location of incorporation from Bermuda to Ireland
  • A management consultant completing the toughest foot race on earth
  • Pay increases in consulting – the exception rather than the norm?
  • Global and UK businesses recession recovery forecast
  • PwC's hat trick at the National Graduate Recruitment Awards 2009
  • How to make a conference presentation work for you
  • Outsourcing confidence index rising to reignite industry

Read about these and more at Consulting Times.

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Accenture helps implement Amsterdam Smart City program

by Editor 6/9/2009 4:23:00 PM
IT consulting firm Accenture has been chosen by the City of Amsterdam to assist with the implementation of the ‘Amsterdam Smart City’ program and help create the first ‘intelligent city’ in the EU. The first phase of the project was launched on June 3.

The consultancy will collaborate with the Amsterdam Innovation Motor agency to conceive, implement, manage and assess each stage of the project. It will also be in charge of the data analysis and the integration of the smart-grid technology.

Amsterdam is a member of Accenture’s Intelligent City Network, which helps industry professionals exchange their experience and knowledge and connects city authorities and utilities across the globe committed to deploying smart electric grids.

The Amsterdam Smart City program entails the development and implementation of a number of feasible projects that will make it possible for the city to reduce its carbon footprint and meet the EU’s goals to significantly reduce energy usage and emissions by 2020.

The project will use a smart electric grid, smart meters, smart-building technologies and electric vehicles to reduce energy consumption in housing, commercial properties, public buildings and areas, and transportation. Smart grids are electricity distribution networks that combine traditional and new technology to manage the flow of energy more effectively and efficiently than previously possible.

The City of Amsterdam is the first city in the EU to deploy intelligent technology, such as smart grids, in its electricity distribution system.

Joke van Antwerpen, director of the Amsterdam Innovation Motor, said: “Amsterdam Smart City is closely linked to the Amsterdam Climate Program, which states clear climate goals for the City of Amsterdam to reduce carbon emissions and encourage change in the energy consumption of our citizens. We chose Accenture for its innovative thinking in helping city authorities and utilities come together in responding to climate change challenges, as well as its expertise in smart-grid and smart-metering technologies.”

Maikel van Verseveld, Accenture’s European lead for Smart Grids, added, “Because cities are the world’s major source of carbon emissions, they must play a leadership role in energy management and electricity consumption by uniting the private and public sectors. Accenture’s role is to facilitate this integration and to build and manage the intelligent infrastructure that will transform the urban environment.”

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Global insurance group enhances fraud detection systems with Detica NetReveal®

by Editor 5/26/2009 4:02:00 PM
IT consulting firm Detica has announced that RSA, a FTSE 100 global insurance group, has acquired a licence for Detica NetReveal® along with related services, in order enhance its existing fraud detection systems.

Detica’s groundbreaking technology will be used to expose organized fraud across a wide range of insurance claims that RSA’s personal and commercial motor insurance and home insurance business in the UK deals with.

John Beadle, UK Counter Fraud Manager at RSA, said: “We chose Detica NetReveal® following an extensive review of potential providers plus the successful completion of a ‘live’ trial that resulted in substantially improved fraud detection rates.”

Andy Cobb, Director of Business Development for Detica NetReveal®, added: “We are delighted that RSA, one of the world’s leading insurance groups, has chosen our solution. Using the latest version of Detica NetReveal® we will not only accelerate offline investigations but also take fraud prevention a step further by performing live screening of new claims against pre-scored criminal networks. We are delighted to continue to offer our commercial clients the fruits of over thirty years of developing solutions to some of the most complex security problems.”

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