North America incumbents be aware: Atos is ready to fight

The most telling quote during the two days spent with Atos and Syntel executives came from newly arrived Atos North America CEO Simon Walsh, who noted the company’s struggles with cross-selling IT services prior to the acquisition of Syntel: “We have been challenged in cross-selling based on some capability gaps in our regional services portfolio. Now we have them.” Those last four words say it all: Now Atos believes it has end-to-end IT services capabilities, from infrastructure to applications, spanning all clients’ IT services needs.

The name of the game for Atos is scale

With the acquisition of Syntel, Atos gained substantial applications capabilities in the U.S., along with new clients, new talent and new opportunities to expand. TBR has covered the acquisition in our quarterly full report on the company and a recent blog post. The Dallas event increased our understanding of the acquisition’s impact on Atos overall, including how Syntel brought a missing element to Atos’ North America offerings, allowing the company to now credibly claim end-to-end IT services capabilities at scale. This last point — scale — became a repeated theme from Atos and Syntel executives, who acknowledged that previous acquisitions, such as Xerox’s ITO practice, helped the Paris-based company expand in the U.S. but did not adequately expand its range of offerings. Prior to purchasing Syntel, according to Atos leaders, the company could do a “handful of projects in North America,” but infrequently engage in multiple large projects simultaneously. With the Syntel asset, Atos can now tell its customers it can “do small $1 million deals” and tell Syntel customers it can “go to scale” with them. Atos executives repeatedly said a more complete set of end-to-end capabilities would allow them to assist clients in transforming their IT and broader digital environments at scale. Again and again, Atos and Syntel leaders emphasized that the combination of infrastructure and applications allowed the joined companies to finally provide the needed scale that would accelerate revenue growth.


Atos hosted a dozen analysts and three clients at its Dallas-based Business Technology & Innovation Center for a wide-ranging discussion of the recently closed Syntel acquisition. Over an informal dinner, formal presentations, extensive Q&A sessions, and well-managed one-on-one sessions with various Atos and Syntel executives, Atos provided TBR multiple opportunities to ask pressing questions on various aspects of the deal, including details on the implications for current clients, expectations for Atos North America, and the Atos-Syntel strategy going into 2019.

Is 5G business growing beyond a marketing tool for telecoms?

TBR’s telecom predictions for 2019 indicate that 5G will enable Industry 4.0, which will spur revenue generation opportunities for service providers that provide the connectivity layer and value-added services to businesses — in the long run.

2019 Telecom Predictions: 5G will be an evolution, not a revolution

The first few years of the 5G era will be underwhelming, but the future looks brighter for the telecom industry, especially as Industry 4.0 gains steam

The telecom industry entered a brave new world with the inception of 5G in 2018. Stakeholders industrywide are hoping this newest network generation will provide much needed revenue growth after the prior network generation, 4G, fell short of this goal over the past decade. Stakeholders hope 5G enables Industry 4.0, which will spur revenue generation opportunities for service providers that provide the connectivity layer and value-added services to businesses.

Though TBR agrees Industry 4.0 will ultimately take hold, our research suggests the cycle will start later and take longer to play out than many expect. TBR expects 5G to drive a renaissance in new commercially viable use cases for the network between 2022 and 2025, which will be beneficial in the long run but makes the next few years a continuation of the same challenges the industry has been dealing with, namely a lack of growth prospects and additional margin pressure.

In the interim, communication service providers (CSPs) will focus on cost optimization and will allocate their initial 5G investments to enhancing their traditional connectivity businesses to more cost-effectively support the ever-increasing amount of data traffic coming onto their networks. This cost optimization mindset, coupled with digital transformation ambitions, will lead to an acceleration in spend on NFV/SDN-related initiatives as well as 5G access build-outs, particularly in lead countries.

2019 Predictions

  • CSPs justify initial 5G investments for their cost efficiency attributes
  • CSPs accelerate network transformation endeavors
  • Wireless begins to disrupt the traditional fixed access business model

Register for TBR’s webinar 5G will be an evolution, not a revolution, Feb. 13, 2019.

Red Hat can save CSPs from themselves

TBR perspective

Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) is inarguably the leading open source company, with revenues far outpacing those of open source-centric competitors, such as Canonical, which only recently began taking monetization seriously. Red Hat’s solutions are pervasive in the market, with the company counting over 90% of the Fortune 500 as customers. Red Hat executives have been assured the pending acquisition by IBM (NYSE: IBM), if approved, would not disrupt Red Hat’s ways of working and stressed to the analysts gathered that the additional large enterprise relationships IBM would bring to the table would expand Red Hat’s addressable market. Maintaining Red Hat’s open, innovative culture would be imperative for IBM, as a passive imposition of IBM’s culture on Red Hat would severely diminish the value of the acquisition.

While Red Hat Analyst Day focused on the company’s total addressable market, communication service providers (CSPs) is a key customer segment for Red Hat, particularly with respect to virtualization via the Red Hat OpenStack Platform. Red Hat can capture greater wallet share from CSP customers with its open source-centric business model and highly capable, expanding Red Hat Global Services organization as these customers embark on their digital transformation journeys.


Red Hat hosted a few dozen industry analysts at its facility in Boston, which opened in June 2017. The space houses an Open Innovation Lab and Executive Briefing Center equipped with interactive touch-screen walls, providing the company an ideal area to bring prospects to demonstrate how Red Hat harnesses the power of open source. A slate of Red Hat executives expounded on Red Hat’s position as the leading open source company globally, divulging customer wins, new products and product road maps, and growth strategies. Little new information was given on Red Hat’s looming acquisition by IBM, though that was expected. Several customer presentations rounded out the day, with each articulating how Red Hat was the ideal partner to shepherd an open source, cloud-first future.

Services Weekly Preview: November 26-30, 2018

In this magical time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, despite racing to get as much analysis and as many predictions published before the new year, we’re able to enjoy a slight pause in the usual news cycle and company activity to reflect on 2018 and predict what will be coming in 2019. In two upcoming webinars, we will be looking at many marketwide trends, starting with an assessment of management consulting in the digital transformation age.


Here’s what’s coming this week:

Thursday: Last quarter when we looked at DXC Technology, we noted the company’s spike in revenue growth following its formation last year normalized to single-digit growth in 2Q18. The underlying businesses of both legacy CSC and Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) Enterprise Services are still experiencing pressures around commoditized legacy services. This quarter TBR will highlight and discuss DXC’s recent M&A activity and its resource management strategy, anticipating similar growth results and performance.

Monday: In our full report on T-Systems for this quarter, we will note that strict execution of efforts to become an efficient organization will sustain the company’s slightly improved performance. New offerings in cloud shift T-Systems’ portfolio away from traditional IT services and increase its opportunities in a segment with growth potential.

Coming in the next few weeks: the Management Consulting Benchmark and 2019 IT Services Predictions.

2019 Devices & Internet of Things Predictions: The mists are clearing as IoT becomes more realistic and better organized

IoT is getting a lot easier

While it is too early to say that the Internet of Things (IoT) market is fully mature, it is maturing. The first three years of the IoT era were filled with extravagant claims, inadequate products and services, and a chaotic partner ecosystem. Starting in 2018 and accelerating throughout 2019 and 2020, more customers will come to the market with an understanding of what they are looking for, offerings will be easier to implement and integrate, and the partnership ecosystem will be more navigable for both vendors and customers.

Increasingly, IoT will be delivered in complete solutions, typically including components from several vendors. As IoT matures, more specific use cases with sufficiently broad applicability will be implemented as solutions, addressing common problems both within and across verticals. Solutions will vary in customizability and integrability.

The economics of data collection, transmission, processing and storage will play an increasing role in the design of IoT solutions. Data-related costs dictate the feasibility of many IoT projects and have driven the adoption of edge solutions.

2019 predictions

  • The IoT ecosystem will sort itself out; vendors will find their niches
  • Packaged and bundled IoT solutions will proliferate
  • Not all data is valuable: Data economics will drive design


Register for TBR’s webinar IoT is getting easier, Jan. 23, 2019.

Nokia hedges 5G play with focus on opportunities in the enterprise space

TBR perspective

The next few years will be challenging for Nokia (NYSE: NOK), and execution will be critical to ensure the company is optimized to drive profitable revenue growth when its addressable market ultimately returns to sustained growth. With its core communication service provider (CSP) customer segment, which composes 95% of Networks’ revenue, expected to remain in a cost-optimization cycle pending new, proven revenue growth opportunities enabled by 5G (which TBR’s research suggests remains several years away), Nokia’s strategic focus on opportunities in the enterprise space and its internal digital transformation are prudent and timely and will take center stage in determining how financially successful the company will be as it transitions into the next decade.

Though more CSPs are committing to deploy 5G and other advanced network innovations such as virtualization over the next few years, the reality is that these infrastructure investments are being justified because they provide significant cost efficiencies to CSPs, enabling them to build, operate and support networks in a much more efficient and cost-effective manner compared to prior generations of network technology. This reality not only increases pressure on Nokia to boost its enterprise exposure to grow revenue, but also pushes management to accelerate digital transformation to protect margins.

Though TBR generally agrees with Nokia’s stance that the world is at the cusp of Industry 4.0, the divergence in thought comes down to timing and whether this cycle will be a short-duration revolution or a long-term evolution. TBR’s research suggests the latter and that Industry 4.0, which includes mass 5G adoption globally, will not ramp up until the 2022-2025 timeframe, at which point business cases will be proved, justifying an increase in market spend on ICT infrastructure. Until that time, Nokia needs to rightsize its shorter-term expectations and focus on building a solid foundation for its fledgling enterprise business while digitally transforming its internal operations to stay competitive.



Enterprises, 5G and Industry 4.0 dominated most of the mindshare at Nokia’s 2018 Global Analyst Forum. Nokia spent much less time discussing its individual product innovations and more time discussing how technology, people and processes are coming together to enable digital transformation, not only for CSPs but also for enterprises.

IoT is getting a lot easier

While it is too early to say that the Internet of Things (IoT) market is fully mature, it is maturing. The first three years of the IoT era were filled with extravagant claims, inadequate products and services, and a chaotic partner ecosystem. Starting in 2018 and accelerating throughout 2019 and 2020, more customers will come to the market with an understanding of what they are looking for, offerings will be easier to implement and integrate, and the partnership ecosystem will be more navigable for both vendors and customers.

Join Ezra Gottheil and Daniel Callahan as they discuss their 2019 commercial IoT predictions and reveal what vendors need to know to compete effectively for IoT-related opportunities in the fast-evolving digital transformation space.

Don’t miss:

  • How the IoT ecosystem will evolve and how vendors will find their niches
  • How packaged and bundled IoT solutions will proliferate
  • Not all data is valuable: data economics will drive design



TBR webinars are held typically on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. ET and include a 15-minute Q&A session following the main presentation. Previous webinars can be viewed at anytime on TBR’s Webinar Portal.

For additional information or to arrange a briefing with our analysts, please contact TBR at [email protected].

Services Weekly Preview: November 19-21

Before we celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday and recover from all that food on Friday, we will publish some of our periodic analysis of IT services vendors, management consulting profiles, and special reports. Here’s what’s coming:

Monday: TBR’s 3Q18 Booz Allen Hamilton full report will provide analysis on one of the federal market’s most forward-thinking and risk-taking services providers. While peers struggle to cultivate a relevant data science workforce, BAH aims to cement its advantage by leading the charge around data science standardization. Its fast-mover advantage enables BAH to set the rules and challenges competitors to fall in line. Such efforts support scalability of more mature capabilities while BAH continues to evolve by exploring new business models, investing in IP and delving into emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and directed energy.


  • TBR’s 3Q18 CACI full report examines how a traditional defense-led federal services contractor is adjusting to the incursion of commercial IT best practices into its core market areas. The report analyzes how these market disruptors can work to the advantage of a company like CACI, which is investing in software-defined open architecture systems in high-end defense technologies, such as electronic warfare and signals intelligence, to disrupt traditional military suppliers rooted in old procurement models focused on hardware-defined, proprietary and bespoke solutions.
  • In June we described BCG in our Management Consulting Benchmark as the best-positioned for acceleration among immediate peers, including McKinsey and Bain. Our new profile on the firm furthers that assessment, with a caveat the firm will need to retain talent, especially in emerging technology areas, to remain competitive, particularly with Big Four firms like PwC and EY.
  • Last week in Dallas we heard directly from Atos and the new Atos-Syntel leadership about the strategy and expectations for this multibillion-dollar, North America-centric acquisition. Our special report will detail why we think Atos’ renewed approach to the U.S. market will have a substantial impact on the company’s performance in the near term.

Top 5 IT firms hired over 37,000 people in Q2, the highest since Sept 2015

“Bozhidar Hristov, senior analyst at Technology Business Research, US, told the daily that cyclical changes – driven by rising attrition, demand for professionals with skills in new technologies that can not only execute on traditional outsourcing projects but can also drive design-led opportunities – are compelling Indian vendors to hire again.”