Two Back, Three Forward: All about consecutive quarters

In our new weekly blog series Two Back, Three Forward, we look at two numbers in TBR reports from the prior week as well as three numbers from our upcoming reports, highlighting the analysis TBR provides and the vast amount of data — the numbers — we’re working with every day. It’s all about the data and what that data means to you.

Two Back

$1.47B, Cognizant’s 4Q19 earnings from financial services clients: As noted in our full report, Cognizant’s Financial Services (FS) revenue increased last quarter, but at a slower pace than the company overall, partly due to softness from European banking clients, according to Cognizant. We’ve heard this complaint from other India-centric vendors and will be publishing a special report this month on what those companies have been doing to offset those pressures. To keep some context, FS remains Cognizant’s largest vertical, at 34.3%, but this trend bears watching.

3, consecutive quarters IBM’s healthcare IT services revenue has declined: 2019 was unquestionably an off year for IBM’s healthcare IT services (HITS), but our most recent analysis indicates the company will rebound in 2020 through new leadership, partnerships and technologies. Considering IBM’s long history of excelling in all three of those areas, we’re predicting a modest 2.2% expansion this year. See the full IBM HITS report for all the analysis.

Three Forward

71.2%, contribution of DXC Technology’s Cloud Professional Services segment to overall cloud revenue, per TBR estimates: Nothing surprising about cloud professional services earning the greatest share of revenue, but what stands out is the 9.6% growth rate of that service line within DXC’s overall cloud practice. Ahead of the other service lines and far better than the company as a whole (-3% over the same period). As we note in the upcoming full report, “DXC’s established relationships with major public cloud providers such as Microsoft and AWS [Amazon Web Services] enable the company to build out integrated solutions and maintain healthy growth in 2020 providing cloud management and migration services.” Further, the company continues investing in cloud-savvy professionals even as it bolsters its traditional IT services talent. DXC’s long-term strategy, including around cloud, appears solid.

More than 50%, Capgemini’s digital and cloud revenues as a percentage of total revenue: Like most IT services peers, Capgemini has strategically shifted resources and investments toward new opportunities in cloud and digital, in part through expanding capabilities alongside partners, developing solutions with partners like AWS, and acquiring talent and IP. Even if revenue growth slows from 5.3% year-to-year in constant currency in 2019 to something closer to 4% in 2020, as Capgemini expects, we don’t expect digital and cloud revenues will ever again dip below the 50% line, even if Capgemini joins market leaders in moving beyond the term digital.

3, consecutive quarters in which Perspecta elevated its FY20 guidance: Due to accelerated demand and strong bookings of net-new work, Perspecta is now guiding for annual revenue growth of between $4.45 billion and $4.5 billion, or 4.1% and 5.3%, over FY19. Even with healthy revenue growth, TBR projects the company’s full-year gross margin will erode 2020 (declining from 24.9% in 2019 to 23.6% in 2020) due to  accumulating costs from its acquisition of Knight Point Systems, the launch of new delivery facilities, and investment in Perspecta Labs. Perspecta’s 2020 operating margin should increase 10 points over 2019, from 6.2% to 6.3%, as unprofitable contracts are completed and Perspecta converts strong bookings of more lucrative and net-new contracts featuring the company’s expanding store of homegrown IP. In all, TBR sees steady growth as more important than financial guidance adjustments, given our concern for strategy and performance, not stock price.

TBR projects CSP spend on edge compute infrastructure will grow at a 54.5% CAGR to $90B by 2025

TBR estimates over 1.2 million network sites and cell sites will become mini data center (edge) locations globally by 2025, up from nearly 9,000 sites globally at the end of 2019. The primary driver of edge build-outs from 2019 to 2024 is telcos’ and cablecos’ network transformations, which entail migrating to a cloudified and virtualized network, and webscales’ edge initiatives to support their cloud businesses and digital lifestyle endeavors. In this new architecture, network functions will be virtualized and housed in network functions virtualization infrastructure, which is essentially a data center. Network sites, such as central offices, have been the primary edge compute locations to date, with cell site builds expected to ramp up significantly in 2021 and become the primary locations for the CSP edge by 2025.

Total CSP Edge Compute Spend 2019 to 2024
SOURCE: TBR ESTIMATES

Most CSP edge sites will be located in the U.S. and China by 2025

TBR estimates over two-thirds of global far edge sites that are owned or leased by CSPs will be located in the U.S. and China by 2025. This heavy concentration of sites will be due, in part, to webscales pushing the ecosystem into the edge to realize their distributed computing initiatives, which encompass migrating mission-critical and latency-sensitive enterprise workloads into their clouds as well as enabling and supporting their digital lifestyle initiatives.

Telecom and cable operators in these two countries will also be active participants in building out their own edge infrastructure, but this will mostly be to transform their networks into automated, virtualized and cloudified systems.

CSPs in other countries will also build out edge compute infrastructure over the next five years, but the scale will be dwarfed by what stakeholders in the U.S. and China intend to pursue.

TBR’s Telecom Edge Compute Market Forecast, which is global in scope, details edge compute spending trends among communication service providers (CSPs), such as telecom operators, cable operators and webscales. This research includes current-year market sizing and a five-year forecast by multiple edge compute market segments and geographies, with the most recent publication covering 2019 to 2024.

New Dell hybrid cloud pricing offers VxRail by subscription

“Last summer, Dell rival HPE laid out a bold plan to transition its business into a software- and services-only operation by 2022 and it would do so, in part, by making its entire portfolio available through a number of different subscription-based, pay-per-use and as-a-service offerings. HPE also, however, said it planned to make its hardware and software available in a capital expenditure and license-based model, thereby giving users a choice in consuming HPE products and services in a more traditional offering. ‘This is a counterpunch being thrown at HPE, which is in the throes of transforming to a software and services company via subscriptions using Greenlake,‘ said Geoff Woollacott, senior strategy consultant and principal analyst at Technology Business Research. ‘[Dell is] trying to do the whole lifecycle management as part of the overall service.'”

5G will require new business models to make money

“According to a study conducted by Nokia and Technology Business Research (TBR), different markets will demand different types of services and operators will need to come up with a variety of cost structures if they want 5G to be profitable. ‘There are many big overarching variables that need to be factored into the ROI [return on investment] assessments,’ says Chris Antlitz, principal analyst with TBR. In particular, Antlitz says that operators need to consider a country’s spectrum requirements as well as its regulatory environment. And they also need to look at the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country and the disposable income of its residents.” — Futurithmic