Informatica adds intelligence to data management but faces unusual competition as traditional roles blur

The Customer Data Management landscape

Informatica continues to thrive in its position as an agnostic third-party data management vendor that supports enterprises’ applications and data initiative. This approach has served Informatica well, as tailored solutions such as Customer 360 have complemented and supported leading front-office applications like Salesforce with customer data management. As front-office application vendors innovate to challenge Salesforce for market share, many are building customer data platforms that enhance the information feeding these applications and build a case for full-suite sales across front-office touch points. Among this competition, there is also a driving need to build greater insight and intelligence into customer data. Informatica’s acquisition of AllSight greatly strengthens the intelligence it can deliver around its clients’ customer data, but applications-led vendors will increasingly challenge Informatica in the customer data management space as they look to build out their value propositions.

Unifying and adding intelligence around customer data is a ubiquitous priority

Vendors across the cloud-based and traditional software landscapes want to elevate the value they provide customers and increase their addressable market by prioritizing unified and intelligent data to power enterprises. Data efforts are following the same workloads trends as cloud applications, focusing on CRM first before HCM and ERP to build traction in the market.

Applications-led vendors such as Salesforce, Oracle, SAP and Adobe are leveraging the data their individual sales, marketing, customer support and commerce applications generate and consume. This allows vendors to craft partnerships, new solutions and data model transformations to unify and enrich the data across all discrete application areas. The message shapes up to enable an enterprise to equip all front-office functions with a single and complete depiction of each customer or prospect that tracks and contextualizes actions at every point of the customer life cycle. In the last nine months we’ve seen numerous developments along these lines, including:

  • SAP announced the unification of its customer experience applications into a single suite, C/4HANA, with plans for deep integrations and layers of intelligence.
  • Adobe, Microsoft and SAP announced their alliance under the Open Data Initiative to give joint clients a more comprehensive view of their customers by enriching data across each vendor’s front-office applications.
  • Salesforce announced Customer 360 to update records across its systems with new information via a unique customer identifier.
  • Oracle announced CX Unity as a data platform that unifies data across Oracle and partner front-office applications to provide a comprehensive view of engagement points and additional data intelligence.
  • Salesforce announced intentions to offer a customer data platform to store a unified profile of customers.
  • Adobe announced a customer data platform.
  • Adobe and Microsoft expanded their relationship, launching new tools and leveraging data from LinkedIn to provide purchasing insights for B2B sales and marketing.
Customer 360 solutions graphic by Informatica
SOURCE: INFORMATICA

TBR Weekly Preview: April 29-May 3

Two weeks in a row cranking out tons of analysis around technology companies, their strategies and performances, and how we see the market changing constantly. As always, connect directly with the analysts if you have questions.

Monday

  • In TBR’s 1Q19 Fujitsu Cloud Initial Response, we discuss Fujitsu’s strategy and next moves after its decision last October to stop international sales of K5. An increasingly strategic partnership with Microsoft coupled with continued enhancements to its data center and managed services businesses and capabilities will be ever more critical to the vendor’s long-term success outside Japan. — Cassandra Mooshian, Senior Analyst, Cloud and Software Team

Tuesday

  • In TBR’s 1Q19 Alphabet (Google) Initial Response, we track Alphabet’s ability to supplement core advertising revenue with sales of its Hardware products, Cloud services and YouTube subscriptions, as well as its investments in original and licensed video content that have begun to pressure margins. Alphabet’s Other Bets also comes into focus as the company leverages investments in the businesses within this segment, such as Waymo autonomous driving, Verily life sciences and Wing drone delivery, to create revenue streams that are sustainable over the long term. — Michael Soper, Senior Analyst, Telecom Team
  • Leidos begins 2019 with a renewed focus on growth and continued robust activity within its public sector healthcare business. TBR’s 1Q19 Leidos Initial Response will highlight two new collaborations to illustrate the increasing strategic importance of healthcare in Leidos’ revamped growth strategy, as well as updates on the company’s ongoing consolidation of its physical assets in the U.S. and expansion of its footprint in the U.K. — John Caucis, Senior Analyst, Professional Services Team
  • Digital marketing services (DMS) remains a growth opportunity — expected to reach $132 billion by 2023 — as CX-related content deployment advances to maturity. In TBR’s 2Q19 Digital Transformation Insights Report: DMS, TBR benchmarks 19 vendors that are well positioned to increase their share of the addressable DMS market, which on average expanded in revenue 22% year-to-year in 4Q18, through 2023.— Boz Hristov,Senior Analyst, Professional Services Team

Wednesday

  • In TBR’s 1Q19 Apple Initial Response, we will report on Apple’s efforts to shift toward a more services-oriented model as it combats slower product revenue due to lengthening smartphone ownership cycles and global saturation. While Apple’s extensive ecosystem puts it into a strong position to enter the vast content services ecosystem, the company will have to navigate busy service and content markets and overcome experienced and embedded competitors, such as Netflix, Amazon and Spotify. — Daniel Callahan, Analyst, Devices and IoT Team 

Thursday

  • With nearly $1 billion in new acquisitions in 1Q19, M&A is once again taking center stage in CACI’s overall growth strategy, enabling the company to align well with shifting defense and intelligence priorities emphasizing agile solution development, accelerated acquisitions cycles, and advanced communications and security products for warfighting and intelligence missions.  TBR will have in-depth analysis of CACI’s most recent acquisitions to expand its portfolio of cyber, electronic warfare and communications intelligence capabilities in our 1Q19 CACI Initial Response. — John Caucis, Senior Analyst, Professional Services Team

Friday

  • Cognizant’s strategic framework is in place, enabling the company to capture and accelerate digital opportunities. The recent acquisition of Meritsoft, which will add SaaS capabilities to its Digital Operations arsenal, reaffirms Cognizant’s commitment to digital and will help the company expand its digital platforms within its addressable market. — Kelly Lesiczka, Analyst, Professional Services Team 
  • Steady expansion of the number of clients in Tata Consultancy Services’ (TCS) largest segments illustrates the continued traction of TCS’ Business 4.0 framework, designed to drive digital enablement. TBR’s 1Q19 TCS report will discuss hiring trends and margin projections during the remainder of 2019. — Kevin Collupy, Analyst, Professional Services Team
  • As Infosys evolves its value proposition and go-to-market strategy, investments in AI, cloud and design thinking remain at the forefront of company executives’ agenda. A recent uptick in performance, evidenced by the healthy pipeline of large deals the company signed in FY19 for a total contract value of $6.28 billion, gives Infosys the confidence to invest and tout capabilities in new areas to secure long-term growth through product-enabled services. Doubling down on its position on the services supply side through investments in innovative portfolio offerings could help Infosys solidify its standing as a trusted outsourcer as it converts bookings to cash.
  • Boz Hristov, Senior Analyst, Professional Services Team

This week TBR will also publish several special reports on recent analyst events, including PwC’s Risk Summit and EY’s annual analyst event.

TIS market returns to positive growth as key operators accelerate and broaden 5G build-out plans

TIS market returns to growth …

According to Technology Business Research, Inc.’s (TBR) Telecom Infrastructure Services Global Market Forecast 2018-2023, the telecom infrastructure services (TIS) market has returned to a positive growth trajectory through the forecast period after several years of declines, now that the 5G cycle is underway and webscales continue to increase their spend on network technologies to drive their strategic initiatives. Leading operators globally have accelerated their 5G timelines by up to two years, and this has correspondingly pulled forward the TIS market growth curve by two years. 2018 was a key year where leading operators invested to prepare their networks for 5G and, in some cases, began deploying 5G technology. This trend will play out over at least the next five years as operators build out their 5G networks and continue their transformational journeys toward becoming digital service providers.

… but growth rate suppressed by offsetting factors

Offsetting factors that will constrain the rate of TIS market growth include the shift to more efficient network architectures (NFV/SDN and cloud); the decommissioning of legacy infrastructure; the increasing use of network resource pooling, such as network sharing; and operator consolidation.

Graph showing TIS market forecast and growth 2018-2023

Professional services will be the fastest-growing services segment through the forecast period

Increasing technology and business model complexity will drive demand for a broad range of professional services through the forecast period. Leading operators will continue their journeys toward evolving into digital service providers, and this will require the full spectrum of professional services, from consulting to systems integration. Operators will increasingly rely on the vendor community for assistance, requiring expertise, staff augmentation and access to intellectual property, or a combination off all three, as they pursue digital transformation.

TBR’s Telecom Infrastructure Services Global Market Forecast provides annual analysis and forecasting of the deployment, maintenance, professional services and managed services markets for network and IT suppliers.

TBR Weekly Preview: April 22-26

This week is one of the busiest weeks of the year for us, with plenty of earnings calls and scheduled benchmark publications.

Tuesday

  • TBR’s Cloud Professional Services Benchmark highlights the leading vendors — and strategies — in each cloud professional services market as well as how evolving customer demands are fundamentally disruptive to the market as a whole. Enterprises are increasingly looking for vendors to supplement labor-intensive activities with automation to speed time to delivery and keep costs at bay, forcing vendors to establish more repeatable software and delivery frameworks. While Accenture and IBM continue to lead the market, regional systems integrators and cloud vendors themselves continue to build their solution sets, aiming to close the gap the two leaders have on the market. — Senior Analyst Cassandra Mooshian
  • Under new CEO Hans Vestberg, Verizon is streamlining its operations and go-to-market strategies to highlight its strengths as a provider of premium network services. Verizon’s renewed focus on core services follows prior attempts to create growth engines via ventures such as Oath and go90, which ultimately fell short of expectations. TBR’s 1Q19 Verizon Initial Response will examine how Verizon’s restructuring strategies are impacting the company’s profitability and will include assessment on the operator’s early 5G initiatives. — Analyst Steve Vachon

Wednesday

  • Market challenges and shifting consumer preferences are impacting investments AT&T has been relying on to sustain long-term revenue growth. For instance, DIRECTV continues to shed satellite customers and struggles to retain DIRECTV NOW subscribers amid the multitude of other over-the-top services in the market. WarnerMedia and Xandr will serve as new growth engines but will face market challenges as WarnerMedia’s streaming service competes against rival offerings such as Netflix and Disney+ and Xandr is challenged by the duopoly of Facebook and Google in the digital advertising market. In TBR’s 1Q19 AT&T Initial Response, we will analyze how AT&T’s WarnerMedia and DIRECTV initiatives are impacting the company’s overall financial performance and assess the operator’s growth initiatives in areas including 5G, IoT and NFV/SDN. — Steve Vachon

Thursday

  • To drive cloud revenue growth in the next two years, Accenture’s Cloud practice will rely on its business-centric approach and ability to provide multicloud managed services. At the same time proper pricing scope and staff management are must-haves for Accenture to remain competitive. — Senior Analyst Boz Hristov
  • Industry specialization is becoming a central focus of Atos’ strategy as the company articulates and delivers digital value and customer excellence leveraging its technology expertise and partnerships in areas such as security, cloud, IoT and quantum computing. One of Atos’ strengths, which TBR will highlight in this quarter’s initial response, is its ability to strictly execute on the plans it sets for its financial performance over three-year horizons and present consistent messaging to the industry analyst community. — Senior Analyst Elitsa Bakalova
  • TBR expects Capgemini will sustain revenue growth through dynamic portfolio management while further improving profitability during 2019. Capgemini is positioning as a leading IT services vendor for clients facing mission-critical challenges. Capgemini helps clients reach their business goals by deepening industry specialization, approaching clients’ C-Suites and selling solutions across the portfolio. — Elitsa Bakalova
  • In TBR’s semiannual Global Delivery Benchmark, we report that to sustain revenue growth, vendors have been transitioning from human capital-focused to technology-enabled organizations. However, vendors increasingly struggle to balance navigating the automation-enabled services market with meeting stakeholders’ expectations, forced to use labor arbitrage again. — Boz Hristov

Friday

  • Digging into Atos’ Cloud practice, TBR notes that Atos seems to have solidified its cloud strategy and doubled down on its cloud go-to-market efforts over the past year, particularly benefiting from its partnership with Google Cloud and the Syntel acquisition in North America as well as opportunities to capitalize on bringing its cloud solutions and capabilities to Syntel’s customer base in the region, which is underpenetrated by Atos. The challenge, however, will be for Atos to establish, build and maintain brand awareness in North America, particularly as the region is arguably the most saturated cloud market globally.
  • We reported in 4Q18 that Fujitsu Services continued to rely on its Japan client base as a primary driver of revenue expansion. TBR expects the same will be true in 1Q19 as Fujitsu reorients its talent in Europe, impacting its sales strategy and access to clients outside of primary focus areas in onshore Europe. While the shift will improve Fujitsu’s marketing and sales efforts in onshore EMEA, Fujitsu Services revenue could face challenges from the losses in offshore areas.

This week TBR will also publish 1Q19 initial responses on public sector-focused and healthcare IT services-centric vendors. Our senior analyst in these areas summed up developments in both as follows:

  • Recent and ongoing actions by benchmarked public sector vendors (e.g., Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics) illustrate the priority equivalence of portfolio reshaping, enhancing operational efficiencies, and optimizing supply and service delivery chains to maintain growth and competitiveness in an evolving government IT investment environment. Some providers are allowing low-value contracts on their books to expire without replacement to reposition their business mix upmarket and away from increasingly commoditized technology areas. Despite the turmoil generated by the 35-day partial government shutdown, federal IT vendors saw their primary customer beginning fiscal year 2019 with a budget for the Department of Defense (DOD) in place and, for the first time in a decade, without a continuing resolution. The enhanced stability and predictability of the DOD spending environment is buoying the outlook for defense-focused contractors across the board and generating confidence about 2019.
  • Healthcare IT services (HITS) vendors are finding increasing difficulty scaling revenues from existing provider clients simply on the coattails of prior health IT investments. Not only have health systems adopted a more judicious approach to their IT budgeting, but the burden is also increasing on health IT vendors to deliver maximum ROI with every engagement. Pockets of growth exist and new ones are emerging, even as the overall trend in health IT spend moderates. Average contract sizes are slowly expanding for several health IT vendors, particularly the electronic health record (EHR)-centric companies that are seeing more frequent services expansions with existing clients. The diversification of health IT contracts is also forcing vendors to streamline go-to-market approaches for selling wide-ranging solution categories and simplify the process for existing clients to work with them. The maturity of the U.S. EHR market (industry observers estimate 95% of hospitals and 87% of physician practices now have some kind of EHR system in place) is also pressuring HITS vendors to increase R&D to develop new solutions geared toward the impending industry adoption of value-based care and fee-for-value models of care remuneration and delivery.

Operators are partnering more deeply with webscales to support multicloud and hybrid environments

Combined Cloud as a Service revenue for telecom operators in Technology Business Research, Inc.’s (TBR) 4Q18 Carrier Cloud Benchmark rose 13.2% year-to-year in 4Q18, primarily due to investments in new data centers and portfolio expansion in growth segments such as SaaS and hybrid cloud. All benchmarked companies sustained year-to-year Cloud as a Service revenue growth as significant opportunity remains for carriers to target businesses seeking greater cost savings, scalability and efficiency by migrating traditional infrastructure and applications to the cloud.

Combined IaaS revenue among benchmarked companies rose 11.2% year-to-year, driven by portfolio expansion and data center investments to reach customers in new markets. IaaS revenue growth will decelerate over the next several years, however, as operators increasingly emphasize supporting in-demand IaaS solutions from third-party providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) (Nasdaq: AMZN) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) over first-party IaaS platforms.

Other Cloud (which includes SaaS, PaaS and BPaaS) revenue rose 16.8% year-to-year, driven by the adoption of services including unified communications, CRM and office productivity solutions. Operators are capitalizing on the demand for SaaS and PaaS applications by cross-selling the solutions with IaaS platforms and other network services.

The bulk of revenue is being generated in APAC and EMEA as local operators benefit from data sovereignty laws that require cloud data be stored in local data centers, which is slowing the momentum of U.S.-based webscale providers. The Americas accounted for only 15% of Cloud as a Service revenue in 4Q18, as AT&T and Verizon are no longer competing in the IaaS market and Asia- and Europe-based operators are primarily targeting foreign-based multinational customers with operations in the Americas.

Graph showing 4Q18 total Cloud as a Service revenue

TBR’s Telecom Practice provides semiannual analysis of Cloud as a Service revenue in key segment splits and regions for the top global carrier cloud operators in its Carrier Cloud Benchmark. Operators covered include Bharti Airtel, British Telecom, CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), China Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, Korea Telecom, NTT, Orange, Singtel, Telefonica (NYSE: TEF) and Vodafone (Nasdaq: VOD).

5G-readiness spend and webscale investment drove strong growth in deployment and professional services

5G spend was pulled forward in key markets, supporting deployment and professional services markets

According to Technology Business Research, Inc.’s (TBR) 4Q18 Telecom Infrastructure Services Benchmark, operators in lead markets (U.S., China, Japan and South Korea) as well as a growing list of key operators in other developed markets have accelerated their 5G deployment timetables over the past year, primarily because 5G is a significantly more cost-effective solution to handle rising data traffic in their traditional connectivity businesses but also to remain competitive in their respective markets.

Vendor telecom infrastructure services (TIS) revenue benefited in 2H18 as operators pulled forward their 5G-related investment timelines, with increased spend on deployment and professional services to support 5G-readiness initiatives. The deployment services market is rebounding as operators densify their networks with small cells, bring new macro sites online and deploy fiber for backhaul in anticipation of 5G, particularly in the U.S. 5G is also a growth driver in the professional services market as operators leverage consulting services to develop implementation and business plans and vendors perform network infrastructure integration for the mass deployments of deep fiber, small cells and antennas that 5G requires. These trends supported revenue growth for Nokia, Huawei and Samsung and enabled Ericsson to mitigate the effects of restructuring in its Managed Services and Digital Services businesses.

Graph showing the ten largest TIS suppliers' 4Q18 revenue

Exposure to software-related services and webscales drives growth for select vendors, including Accenture and Ciena

Accenture and Ciena, among others, have strong traction in telecom operator and webscale customer segments. Among webscales, Accenture is providing outsourcing to manage back offices and integrating software. Accenture is also providing business, security and technical consulting to webscales.

Ciena capitalizes on growing demand for next-generation optical from communications service providers (CSPs) and webscales through its focus on optical R&D, which helps the company take share from more diversified vendors. Ciena also gains incremental software-related TIS revenue from its Blue Planet MANO (management and orchestration) and OSS offerings.

TBR’s Telecom Infrastructure Services Benchmark provides quarterly analysis of the deployment, maintenance, professional services and managed services markets for network and IT suppliers.

5G will push CSPs to accelerate and broaden their NFV/SDN-related initiatives

Mainstream adoption of NFV/SDN will coincide with 5G ramp

Leading communication service providers (CSPs) will accelerate and broaden their network transformations en route to deploying 5G and becoming digital service providers (DSPs). Softwarization, virtualization and cloudification are foundational aspects of a DSP’s network. These CSPs, which started their network virtualization journeys in the mid-2010s with virtual machines, are now transitioning to containers and ultimately to a cloud-native, microservices-based architecture.

Additional research:

Atos in the spotlight with digitally enabled vertical use cases

SyntBots allow Atos to differentiate at points of disruption as the company gradually expands revenue share from digital services

A year ago, Atos aimed for Digital Transformation Factory (DTF) revenues to contribute 30% of the company’s total sales in 2018 and 40% in 2019. Atos hit that goal in 2018, and TBR expects Atos will reach its target for 2019 as well. TBR believes the transparency and visibility around Atos’ DTF portfolio make it a more believable use case compared to the offerings of industry peers, many of which fold digital services under a rather broad umbrella that encompasses legacy capabilities. Atos’ realistic outlook around DTF enables the company to provide guidance for digital services to grow at a CAGR of 2% to 3% through 2021, a goal that TBR believes the company will hit, especially as the recently acquired assets from Syntel, such as SyntBots, enhance Atos Codex (one of DTF’s four pillars) capabilities around AI and automation.

With SyntBots in place, Atos has certainly broadened its addressable market to better compete for digital services at scale across both IT and OT. Integrating traditional tools along with AI and machine learning, SyntBots allow Atos to reduce the complexity of clients’ IT architectures, providing the typical benefits of automation including cost reduction. TBR believes the true benefit, however, will stem from Atos’ ability to convince clients to reinvest cost savings in other areas, with Atos remaining the prime IT services vendor. According to TBR’s 4Q18 Digital Transformation Customer Research, extension remains the most natural jumping-off point to DT initiatives, as enterprises can experiment with disruptive technologies within familiar business operations, see their value in generating new business insights, and then use those insights to reimagine processes.

SyntBots’ Automated Operations and Product Engineering capabilities create additional entry points, which are needed to take advantage of with the “extension” phase of DT. Atos can engage with multiple CxOs at a single client to become aware of DT initiatives happening outside the CxOs’ current engagements and to stay top of mind when those initiatives move to the front burner — if not as the primary provider due to lack of a certain specialized capability, then as the conduit to a partner that can address the next initiative. While points of arrival to new technologies, such as AI and cloud, are rather common, we believe points of departure and points of disruption are areas where Atos has an opportunity to differentiate. Using legacy systems to build a repository of knowledge, rather than to just manage clients’ technical debt with the assistance of AI, is one way for Atos to compete at speed for DT-related opportunities.

While rivals such as Accenture (NYSE: ACN) maintain similar platforms, such as myWizard, Atos’ position as a “silent assassin within the North America market,” as Atos North America CEO Simon Walsh termed it, could certainly catch rivals by surprise and enable Atos to overdeliver in its digital services performance.

Atos' organizational position in digital transformation continuum

For the fourth consecutive year, Atos held its annual Global Analyst Conference in Boston, where the company continued to emphasize expansion in North America and the diversification of its global revenue base, as well as its desire to be closer to the U.S.-based IT industry analyst community. The company covered core areas of its three-year plan — codenamed ADVANCE 2021, which stands for “Atos Digital Value Advancing Customer Excellence” — and underscored its strategy to enable customers’ digital businesses by providing secure, data-driven ecosystems of multiple infrastructures, industry-specific services and technologies, and smart data platforms and services.

Sprint Disparages Itself to Boost Prospects for T-Mobile Merger

“Quite frankly, this was a breath of fresh air,” Chris Antlitz, telecom principal analyst at Technology Business Research, told SDxCentral in a phone interview. “They are being marginalized, they can’t stay competitive, the network is not comparable, the competition has been out-competing them for years, and something has to give here.”

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IBM marries on-premises, private and public-cloud data

Offering a multi-cloud, portable hybrid integration solution is important for IBM in a few ways, said Cassandra Mooshian, a senior analyst with Technology Business Research. It greatly reduces the perception of vendor or platform lock-in, which in the world of hybrid IT is attractive, Mooshian said.

“It underscores that IBM is willing to play in a multivendor world (rather than promoting IBM IaaS as the technology underpinning ICP and solutions atop it), it can help bring IBM to the table more often in enterprise and midmarket organisations now that it is ‘playing nice’ more often with peers, and it addresses a fundamental pain point that IT departments are facing, linking on-prem apps and data to cloud apps and data such that processes can become more efficient and customers can get the most business value,” Mooshian said.

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