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.