Innovation, Amsterdam and an arena: How KPMG teams excel at transformations and technology

After KPMG highlighted the firm’s relationship with Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam at a recent analyst event, TBR requested a follow-up discussion to better understand how the innovation team at the arena had been excelling at many of the key characteristics TBR has identified in consultancies’ and IT services vendors’ innovation and transformation centers around the world. TBR met with Sander van Stiphout, the arena’s innovation lead, and Wilco Leenslag, the KPMG partner leading his firm’s efforts with the arena.

Framed within the context of TBR’s recently published Innovation and Transformation Centers Market Landscape, three key elements of van Stiphout’s work at the arena stood out

Trust is crucial  

First, the arena’s innovation team works with external clients on a subscription basis, a business model rarely deployed by consultancies and IT services vendors. The arena’s clients, which include startups and enterprises testing new technologies and means of enhancing the customer experience, have to fully trust the arena’s innovation team will deliver value for the investment they are paying in subscriptions. TBR believes this business model may be directly related to the unique nature of an arena but could be replicated by a consulting firm or IT services vendor that is willing to bet on collaboration consistently leading to valuable, and deployable, innovation.   

Make your pitch and test your tech  

A second key element that stood out was how the Johan Cruijff Arena serves as a test bed in multiple ways, benefiting the arena’s clients that are startups and the arena itself. Startups not only test their technology solutions in a real-world environment with continuous access to all the variables found in any sporting or entertainment event, but van Stiphout noted that startups also pitch the solutions to internal operational professionals at the arena. For example, the arena’s marketing department must approve a marketing solution prior to testing, enabling startups to pitch and refine solutions with a real-world client before taking it to other clients.

Innovations, particularly from startups, often stall when they meet real-world requirements and clients making investment decisions beyond prototypes. By creating a stage for startups to test run both their product pitch and their product, the Johan Cruijff Arena innovation team helps these companies overcome that innovation roadblock. Additionally, this prototyping method helps to overcome issues associated with the traditional engagement model of working with clients’ innovation departments on pilot projects. Specifically, TBR often hears of emerging technologies becoming “stuck in pilot mode,” a challenge that we feel is directly related to the sheer number of ecosystem participants that are required to scale a solution after proving its value to a client. With the arena-led engagement model, ecosystem entities must first work together ahead of a live trial in the arena, addressing the issue of scaling before testing, not after. 

Unprecedented change doomed JEDI

The ongoing JEDI controversy comes to an end

Since the process began in 2017, it was widely speculated that the approach used with the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract was too large and diverse to be fulfilled by a single vendor. The unprecedented global disruption brought on by COVID-19 during 2020 and 2021 quickly confirmed those suspicions. The shift to remote work, disruptions in global IT supply chains, and accelerated interest in cloud-delivered IT services only added to the rapid pace of change in the cloud market from 2017 to present day.

Two weeks ago the Pentagon officially announced its decision to cancel the $10 billion JEDI contract with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), with the Pentagon stating, “With the shifting technology environment, it has become clear that the JEDI cloud contract, which has long been delayed, no longer meets the requirements to fill the Department of Defense’s (DOD) capability gaps.” Since Microsoft won the JEDI contract in October 2019, the contract has been mired in controversy, with Amazon Web Services (AWS) (Nasdaq: AMZN) filing numerous protests and legal challenges on the award starting in November 2019.

While politically charged rumors continue to circulate around the initial JEDI contract award to Microsoft, TBR believes the DOD’s decision to cancel the contract goes beyond these assertions and was driven by the realities of a maturing cloud market, which is becoming increasingly hybrid. And, when combined with the fact that the JEDI requirements were constructed almost two years ago, the needs of the highly complex, inter-related federal agencies demanding cloud technologies necessitates a hybrid IT and cloud approach. In summary, the DOD’s updated contract approach will provide the individual agency stakeholders with the flexibility to select cloud services and solutions based on the existing capabilities and strengths of all the leading technology providers vying for the opportunity.

Understanding the evolving JEDI controversy

Microsoft won the JEDI contract in October 2019 and prevailed against a subsequent lawsuit by AWS in 2020 that prompted the DOD to review its source selection process. The award has been mired in a legal battle between AWS and Microsoft and two years after the initial award, there was seemingly no end in sight. The DOD intimated in January 2021 that its patience with the unending court battles was running out as its need for a cloud platform was “urgent” according to acting DOD CIO John Sherman. The protracted litigation was likely a factor in JEDI’s termination and industry observers speculated the next phase of legal wrangling would examine claims of inappropriate political influence over the vendor selection process, potentially dragging the case out even further.

In the cancellation announcement the DOD stated that the original JEDI concept no longer met the DOD’s needs due to “evolving requirements, increased cloud conversancy, and industry advances,” implying JEDI had lost relevance from both technical and procurement standpoints. The contract aimed to be the foundation of a general-purpose enterprise cloud for the DOD, while the agency’s other major cloud vehicles, milCloud 2.0 and Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (DEOS), would provide for the DOD’s fit-for-purpose cloud needs. Even as the JEDI contract languished in legal purgatory, milCloud 2.0 moved forward and is now available. DEOS is right on its heels.

Not only did the DOD’s cloud needs evolve, but the termination of JEDI strongly suggests the DOD wants maximum flexibility to choose the vendor providing the most mission-appropriate cloud services on an agency-by-agency basis, while concurrently avoiding the risk of over-reliance on a single contractor for the entire agencywide cloud platform.

JEDI will be replaced by the multicloud, multivendor, and likely multibillion-dollar Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC) IDIQ (indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity) program. JEDI was to underpin the DOD’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) initiative to connect systems across all military branches in a single, unified network, as well as the DOD’s Artificial Intelligence and Data Acceleration (ADA) program. The absence of a DOD-wide, purpose-built enterprise cloud solution would eventually hamper the JADC2 initiative, even as several DOD departments had recently kicked off their own cloud programs while JEDI remained stuck in court. JWCC will retain JEDI’s overarching objective to facilitate the adoption of digital solutions in AI, analytics, automation, big data, machine learning and storage across DOD C5ISR (command, control, communications, computers, cybersecurity, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) IT infrastructures.

The DOD will evaluate other cloud vendors, including Google (Nasdaq: GOOGL), IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), for future cloud procurements. However, AWS and Microsoft will remain the principal cloud competitors, at least at the outset, as the DOD stated that they were the only vendors able to meet DOD cloud requirements. AWS and Microsoft will receive RFPs by mid-October 2021 and notification of awards by April 2022. The DOD plans to have a more comprehensive multivendor cloud procurement vehicle in place by 2025, but for now, JWCC should address the DOD’s urgency to modernize its enterprise and tactical edge computing capabilities across all service branches.

Hyperconverged: Insights from TBR’s Data Center team

Speed of HCI market evolution accelerates due to COVID-19

Join Principal Analyst and Practice Manager Angela Lambert for a discussion on the top trends found in TBR’s Hyperconverged Platforms Customer Research. Angela will also share insights on how vendors can align to changes in enterprise customers’ infrastructure strategies and support customers’ top needs.

Don’t miss:

  • How COVID-19 impacted the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) market
  • Trends in data center consolidation and HCI implications
  • The role of hybrid cloud and key use cases driving HCI adoption

Register today to reserve your space

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 anytime on TBR’s Webinar Portal.

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

WEBINAR FAQS

Atos launches ‘Atos Computer Vision Platform’, the first highly scalable end-to-end Artificial Intelligence video and image analytics platform

“Atos proposes a range of edge servers to deploy computer vision at the edge in real-time, close to the data source – this is the BullSequana Edge and BullSequana Edge nano. The rugged BullSequana Edge nano can be used in any type of environment: from the shop floor, to outdoor and highly constrained environments in remote locations such as in outdoor construction, industrial mining or at sea. ‘Atos stands out among IT services providers with its ability to offer a computer vision platform, combining its own software suite, hardware range and AI computer vision labs to deliver holistic advise-build-run solutions to clients addressing their business needs at scale. Integrating pre-trained & customizable AI models in hardware improves Atos’ ability to drive profitable growth through automation and recurring revenue streams.’ said Elitsa Bakalova, Senior Professional Services Analyst at Technology Business Research.” — Atos

Digital transformation for market, competitive and strategy intelligence

TBR is the first place we look for a foundational, normalized view to benchmark against core competitors in markets that are important to our firm. — Senior Manager, Strategy, Big Four

TBR dedicates a significant portion of our research to the technologies and company actions around digital transformation. We have found that the most impactful digital transformation action vendors take is the simultaneous transformation of their business process and business model. TBR has spent years analyzing the world’s leading IT services vendors and management consultancies as they practice the art of digital transformation, and in September 2021 we will proudly share the product of our own transformation with the launch of TBR Insight Center™.

The legacy market research company model of report building and data gathering was one of rigidity. Output, and the related analyst activity, was on a quarterly or annual cadence, which created a decreased ability for analysts to react and pivot to rapid changes in the market. TBR’s digital transformation first focused on modernizing our internal systems, including our research and modeling processes. The result is a proprietary, digitally enabled market, competitive and strategy intelligence platform that quickens time to insight, decision and risk mitigation for our clients.

Gone are the days of searching through multiple issues of the same vendor analysis to find the perfect quote, chart or actionable insight. With TBR Insight Center™, users will be able to curate an ongoing stream of real-time analysis, keyed to the vendors or topics of greatest interest.

Publicly released financials will continue to be the first step in the data gathering process for TBR’s empirically opinionated, bottom-up analysis, but it is just the beginning. TBR will leverage 26 years of financial modeling expertise, along with modern data science, among other methodologies, to derive a level of proprietary data unavailable via other sources. Users will be able to select their desired vendors, metrics, time periods, geographies and verticals, taking a syndicated — or “off the shelf” — stream of research and customizing it to the specific application and uses cases required. These views can be built, saved and distributed within your company with ease. Data can also be fed into Excel or directly to your own systems for internal modeling and report building. Beta users of TBR Insight Center™ have attested to saving dozens of hours per month with this simple, but dramatic, workflow transformation powered by our digital-first research platform.

Additionally, significant events, announcements and disruptions occur off-cadence, creating gaps in delivery of analysis within the legacy frameworks. TBR Insight Center™ will display our analysts’ real-time analysis of these events within users’ custom dashboards and reports. This workflow transformation, leveraging our digital platform internally, cuts the time needed to build market reports from up to two months to a matter of days.

Tools our industry experts used to accelerate collaboration during TBR’s internal transformation are now available to TBR Insight Center™ users. Clients’ teams can build custom dashboards with comments sections where they can pull in configurable, curatable and composable analysis from TBR content as a basis for their own internal company discussions of their business operations. This analysis is displayed on a private instance of TBR Insight Center™ via your firm’s existing licensing agreement.

During the recent change within TBR, not only did collaboration accelerate because of the efficacy of our digital transformation, but we also saw an overall increase in collaboration across the broader organization. As friction was removed through our digital transformation, we saw a multiplying effect; cross-practice analysis occurred faster and happened with greater frequency. This efficiency has enabled an already world-class organization to increase speed to operational intelligence. These same collaboration and distribution functions are native to TBR Insight Center™. The only question that remains is, how will your organization maximize our digital transformation and the delivery of TBR analysis within your firm?

De-risk and speed time to business decisions with the right data and the right analysis in the right hands, all while enabling collaboration on those insights and data. Multiply your firm’s operational intelligence with TBR Insight Center™, available September 2021.

Reserve your seat for the inaugural TBR Insight Center™ worldwide live demonstration

PwC accelerates SaaS strategy as latest round of solutions aim to solve marketers’ business challenges

In a series of conversations with PwC leaders during the past quarter, TBR learned more about the company’s growing products portfolio, including PwC Customer Link and PwC Media Intelligence, in addition to receiving an update on PwC’s CMO advisory practice. TBR spoke with Brian Morris, Customer Analytics and Marketing lead overseeing PwC Customer Link, and Derek Baker, CMO Advisory lead overseeing PwC Media Intelligence. While each capability serves a specific client need, a common approach and business models suggest PwC is accelerating its portfolio transformation without losing sight of the need to deliver outcomes.

Productizing knowledge while relying on trust expands PwC’s addressable market opportunities with the marketing department and beyond

As PwC continues to evolve its business model, the firm’s push into selling products not only expands PwC’s addressable market opportunities but also elevates its brand, compelling software incumbents to pay closer attention. Both the PwC Customer Link and PwC Media Intelligence solutions are part of the PwC Products catalog and support the firm’s goal of driving SaaS and managed services sales. While both products enable marketing departments’ transformation discussions, each also bolsters PwC’s value proposition with noncore buyers, including chief digital officers and chief data officers, as well as internal audit departments in the case of PwC Media Intelligence.

Relying heavily on its PwC CMO Advisory practice, as well as other areas of the firm, such as its network of Experience Centers, as the medium to introduce these offerings helps PwC drive conversations for cross-selling and upselling services. Solving complex issues around managing customer data is an ever-challenging task for clients. Productizing knowledge through the development of pointed solutions helps PwC address client pain points and close business technology gaps. As PwC continues to build client use cases by selling, deploying and managing these solutions, we expect the firm to continue to approach clients through its fundamental lens: helping marketers solve business challenges.  

Solution overview

PwC Customer Link differentiates on its ability to not only connect offline and online data but also to integrate third-party data and provide analytics around it, as the solution uses various data depositories. Key features include Data Manager that handles first-party and all digital data; Insights Manager that allows PwC to perform better analytics segmentation down to the audience level; and Orchestration Manager that supports buyers’ omnichannel campaigns. Additional features include PwC’s ability to work through a technology-agnostic lens and offer supplemental capabilities with cloud data providers such as Salesforce and Adobe.

CompuCom and the 4 dimensions of employee experience

The future of hybrid when your home printer runs out of ink

We recently met with CompuCom, an 8,000-person technology vendor providing hardware, software and services across the digital workplace, and discussed the company’s evolving role as the nature of how and where people work changes, especially for professionals inextricably linked to and dependent upon IT. To frame the discussion — and CompuCom’s place in the IT services ecosystem, which TBR’s Professional Services team tracks closely — one of the CompuCom executives asked, “What does hybrid work really mean going forward?” The question was particularly applied to professionals using home and personal technology for enterprise-level work. While everyone seems to be asking these questions and refining their answers based on pandemic-forced experiences, CompuCom has taken a broader view, suggesting employee experience (EX) is at the heart of the issue, rather than technology.

As described by CompuCom, employee experience fits within four dimensions: technology choice, self-sufficiency, well supported, and workplace flexibility. The first dimension is centered on technology that meets employees’ needs and “securely integrates personal technology” into the workplace ecosystem. Self-sufficiency is employees’ desire to be able to get their work done with minimal friction. And well supported and workplace flexibility most clearly align with hybrid work environments, with employees needing trusted technologies they can securely use anywhere, anytime. TBR has reported on other IT services vendors and consultancies shifting focus to the employee experience, particularly during the early months of the pandemic. This framework may not be new, but CompuCom has smartly articulated what many other vendors have been trying to provide, often with more offerings and less focus.

As small and midsize enterprises look to migrate to the cloud, the desire to take advantage of emerging technologies without investing heavily in IT staff may provide an opening for CompuCom to deliver its full end-to-end solutions, including hardware from trusted brands like Dell Technologies, without the higher-end services and support price tag. Delivering multivendor device support and addressing technology choice as a component of the employee experience will further resonate with SMB clients. Managing CompuCom’s ecosystem relationships while delivering value may depend on the second revelation from the company: experience-level agreements (XLAs).  

The future of IT services when XLAs replace SLAs

Building on this framework, CompuCom has begun measuring its value to clients by the employee experience delivered, rather than standard service-level agreements (SLAs). The company has even developed persona-based, experience-level indicators (XLIs), recognizing that at any one client, CompuCom will be serving multiple persons. TBR will continue tracking CompuCom’s efforts to transition XLIs into XLAs as a widely accepted standard for replacing SLAs among its clients and the larger IT services ecosystem. 

A second point about CompuCom’s approach struck TBR as noteworthy, especially as post-pandemic trends have pointed toward IT services vendors and consultancies rapidly expanding their offerings into areas such as engineering and legal services: CompuCom intends to stay in its own lane, deliver what it delivers well and grow through bringing technology to the workplace. That sounds unradical and almost boring. As one CompuCom executive said, “We’re focused on the workplace experience.” Having a clear focus and doing what you do well, in TBR’s experience analyzing IT services vendors and consultancies, have been key characteristics of solidly performing and growing companies.

According to TBR’s Digital Transformation: Voice of the Customer Research, in the early days of the pandemic enterprise buyers shifted priorities and budget spends from improving the customer experience (CX) to improving the employee experience by ensuring staff safety and productivity measures were in place. While the pendulum swung back a bit toward CX spend in early 2021, the shift toward everything hybrid will compel all parties, including employees, to seek and offer innovative ways to collaborate within the ecosystem, thus creating channels for robust EX and driving opportunities for companies such as CompuCom. 

In the coming months, TBR intends to revisit CompuCom’s portfolio and performance in the context of the larger IT services and technology vendor landscape, particularly in relation to the U.S. market and digital transformation. 

TBR Insight Center: An Overview

TBR Insight Center™ is a powerful data visualization tool that allows clients to configure and curate analysis customized to their needs in a simple and intuitive interface. Join Senior Data Analyst Matt Bowden and Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing Dan Demers for an exclusive overview and demonstration of this new digital platform prior to its September launch.

A few of the TBR Insight Center™ features we will highlight:

  • Real-time business analysis of the top technology vendors at a granular level unavailable publicly
  • Apples to apples comparisons of the leading vendors, by business unit, across all critical segments of the global ICT landscape
  • Data visualizations and qualitative analysis on vendor performance across key business metrics (e.g., revenue, expense, margin) by business unit, geo and industry vertical

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, July 28, 2021, at 1 p.m. EDT,
and REGISTER to reserve your space for this interactive demonstration.

Click here to access more TBR webinars.

WEBINAR FAQS

IT Services and Digital Transformation: Insights from TBR’s Professional Services team

As vendors branch out from traditional revenue bases, enabling innovation drives investments in sustainability services, product engineering and supply chain optimization. While cloud continues to be the main technology driving digital transformation investments, buyer-vendor relationships are entering the next phase, where parties must account for new ways of engaging and delivery and opportunities are pivoting from projects to products.

Join Patrick HeffernanBoz HristovElitsa BakalovaKelly Lesiczka and John Croll as they reveal insights into and latest trends in the IT services and digital transformation markets. The group will also discuss recent performances of the leading 30 IT services providers and enterprise buyers’ priorities as they accelerate their digital transformation programs.

Don’t miss:

  • TBR’s overview of performance and key trends for the 30 vendors in our IT Services Vendor Benchmark
  • Accelerating revenue growth in sectors hit hard by the pandemic, such as industrial solutions, manufacturing and automotive
  • Enterprise buyers’ priorities in the rapidly evolving digital transformation market
  • Short- and long-term opportunity areas that will continue to drive digital transformation investments

Register today to reserve your seat 

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 anytime on TBR’s Webinar Portal

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

WEBINAR FAQS

TBR releases exclusive webinar content from June 2021

HAMPTON, N.H. (July 6, 2021) — Technology Business Research, Inc. (TBR) announces on-demand availability of its June 2021 webinars, featuring discussions on 5G’s impact on the U.S. wireless market, expectations for the PC market in 2021 and 2022, the value of cloud during the pandemic, and the influence of geopolitics on the telecom infrastructure services (TIS) market.

5G brings massive disruption to the U.S. wireless market

Principal Analyst Chris Antlitz and Analyst Steve Vachon give an in-depth, exclusive review of TBR’s most recent U.S. Mobile Operator Benchmark during which they discuss the financial and go-to-market performance of leading U.S. wireless operators as well as recent key developments impacting the U.S. market.

2021 PC market predictions

Principal Analyst Ezra Gottheil and Analyst Eric Costa discuss the state of the PC market, including impacts expected on revenue growth, profitability and unit sales, and what lies ahead for the remainder of 2021 and 2022.

Cloud vendors make the most of their COVID-19 stimulus

Principal Analyst and Practice Manager Allan Krans, Senior Analyst Nicki Catchpole, Senior Analyst Evan Woollacott and Senior Analyst Catie Merrill give a glimpse into the continued acceleration of cloud adoption as the COVID-19 pandemic abates. The discussion sheds light on how the value of cloud was reinforced during the pandemic, leading to accelerated spending as conditions have stabilized and improved in the first half of 2021.

Telecom infrastructure insights: 2Q21 insights from TBR’s Telecom team

Senior Analyst Michael Soper discusses results from TBR’s Telecom Infrastructure Services Global Market Forecast for 2020-2025, including key growth drivers and detractors for the TIS market and how government spend and geopolitics will influence the market.

TBR webinars are typically held Wednesdays at 1 p.m. EST and include a 15-minute Q&A following the main presentation. To find out what we are discussing next month, check out the Webinars page of our website.

Interested in a one-on-one discussion with one of the above subject-matter experts or a private webinar with one or more of our teams?

Contact us today for more information on our free 90-day trial