BearingPoint’s bold triple bet on cars

Can the Europe-centric consultancy lead the race to remake the automotive industry?

In recent years, as nearly every IT services vendor and consultancy has attached itself to an automotive sector client and touted their industry expertise, TBR has followed the routes those vendors have taken and which aspects of the car industry they have focused on. In broad strokes, consultancies and IT services vendors help their automotive clients in one or more of three areas: 1) AI and autonomous vehicles; 2) customization, customer mobility and brand; and/or 3) Manufacturing 4.0. For example, last fall, TBR spoke at length with Accenture about the company’s new efforts in Stuttgart, Germany, which mostly fell into the second category. Cutting across all three areas, trends in car ownership, transportation, ride sharing, car sharing, and privacy and data sharing have sustained opportunities for consulting, with anticipated large-scale implementations and managed services to follow.

In a recent discussion with BearingPoint, TBR learned the automotive sector would be a priority over the next few years, as the firm has recognized changes that affect the industry, such as climate change, air pollution, buyer needs and behaviors, mobility services, parking “as a Service,” and car rental “as a Service,” to name a few, were forcing changes in the business models for every supplier, maker, advertiser and buyer involved. With established relationships with all the major car manufacturers in Europe, as well as a legacy working with manufacturers across the continent, BearingPoint will do what almost no other consultancy or IT services vendor has done: organically build an automotive practice that tackles all three areas — AI and autonomous vehicles, customer experience and brand, and Manufacturing 4.0 — and place that business group among the firm’s highest priorities.

TBR will watch BearingPoint’s progress closely, in part as a component of our ongoing management consulting research, which includes a detailed profile on BearingPoint. Secondly, we want to see if a consultancy or IT services firm can balance serving the three elements of the automotive sector we have outlined. Many vendors have developed strengths in one or two areas, but no one vendor has applied consistent, sustained and leadership-supported investments in all three. It is a tough road. Let’s see if BearingPoint can navigate it.  

Traditional ports and quantum computing: The now and the future

Principal Analysts Geoff Woollacott and Patrick Heffernan are each publishing a piece this week that touches on the business of digital transformation. Geoff focuses on the massive change expected from quantum computing as the business applications begin to catch up to the science. In his opinion, “Quantum is on the cusp of delivering economic advantage. The achievable impact is real today in what can be described as Horizon 1 application use cases. Horizons 2 and 3 will be as much a function of taking existing quantum algorithms that operate with a certain precision under the current fidelity of Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) Systems and applying them to different use cases requiring greater precision delivered from higher fidelity, and ultimately fault tolerant, quantum systems to deliver economic advantage to the activity in question.” Patrick’s blog looks at a specific use case for digital transformation, Port Oulu in Finland, where he notes, “a port like Oulu’s, which is both small enough to be manageable through a disruptive digital transformation and large enough to be replicative of a larger port’s ecosystem and challenges, could be an ideal place for connectivity and emerging technology vendors to experiment and prove out the use case for bringing one of the most fundamental infrastructure environments fully into the digital age.”

Additional assessments publishing this week from our analyst teams

DXC Technology’s leadership, headed by new CEO Mike Salvino, is actively pursuing strategic alternatives for three of DXC’s businesses — U.S., state and local health and human services; business process services; and workplace and mobility — that do not fit the company’s focused strategy for the future. DXC will leverage these three businesses, which account for roughly 25% of the company’s total revenue, to unlock value through potential divestitures to strategic or financial buyers or a spin-off.” —  Kevin Collupy, Analyst

Cisco Customer Experience expands its partner network, particularly with technology-led vendors, to incorporate hardware solutions and support contract generation around these solutions. Integrating automation capabilities will enable Cisco Customer Experience to maintain profitability while increasing the delivery range of solutions to new clients. We expect the company to continue strengthening its partner relationships to accelerate its portfolio transition; however, Cisco Customer Experience could face challenges differentiating its offerings from those of its peers, as they also leverage partner technologies to grow market share.” — Analyst Kelly Lesiczka

“With markets, portfolio offerings and people at the center of its Strategy 2025 initiative, BearingPoint is expected to continue to grow its management consulting revenue beyond 2019 and gain opportunities in its five segments of focus: data-driven banking operations, unified commerce, automotive operations, next-generation public services and digital twin business. BearingPoint is developing its organization in Europe and establishing the foundation for its business development in the U.S. to address growing client demand and enable European organizations to become global companies.” — Elitsa Bakalova, Senior Analyst

BearingPoint offers collaborative transformation that integrates advisory services and solutions

BearingPoint is transforming from a consulting company that delivers services in a traditional way into a company that is flexible in the way it works with clients and values innovation, collaboration and entrepreneurship. In a discussion, BearingPoint’s new Managing Partner Kiumars Hamidian stated, “We try to reduce the use of PowerPoint with clients,” which essentially leads to increased interactions during the proposal and solution development phases. On the other hand, BearingPoint is increasing its use of collaborative activities with clients and encouraging people to bring their best ideas, often using design thinking and agile-based methodologies. BearingPoint places innovation at the center of its activities across its three business pillars — Consulting, Solutions and Ventures — utilizing its “Be an Innovator” process to generate ideas for new services. The company uses IP assets such as accelerators, as well as incubators and ventures, to drive innovation.

BearingPoint is a European consulting company with global market reach

Executing on its three priorities — markets, portfolio and people — and utilizing its three business pillars will enable BearingPoint to continue to grow revenues and reach its 2020 overall revenue goal of €1 billion (or $1.2 billion). On the markets side, BearingPoint positions as an independent and partner-owned management and technology consulting company that has European roots and global reach and enables clients predominantly in its core European territory to become global leaders. Utilizing its European market reach and a new design and brand profile that emphasizes creativity, innovation, and a collaborative, agency-like approach, BearingPoint is set to attract such clients. As BearingPoint updates its brand profile to represent the company’s diversity, its bold, fresh and modern character will likely lead to growth opportunities, especially in new digital segments. To serve clients outside its core territory, BearingPoint utilizes its Global Reach Offices in Dallas and Shanghai and expands its global market reach through consulting and technology partnerships, such as with West Monroe Partners in North America, ABeam Consulting in APAC and Grupo ASSA in LATAM.



BearingPoint selected Lisbon, Portugal, as the host city for its Analyst Summit 2018. The event, which was held on Oct. 11, was not a traditional analyst day, as it was held at a former needle manufacturing facility, rather than in a conference room, and the vendor refrained from using PowerPoints to display its capabilities. Instead, the vendor transformed the facility to use personalized setups and spark attendees’ imaginations, and it relied on engaging conversations to gain the attention of the audience. The agenda was rich in topics, ranging from strategic and business overviews to five client case representatives talking onstage about their work with BearingPoint. The company also used a mobile app that was specifically developed for the event to provide personalized information about the event, share files and take live polls of the audience, which further enhanced engagement with the audience.

Creating innovation; creating clients

A New Thing: BearingPoint ‘At the Heart of Innovation’

“I came in with absolute clarity about what my challenge was, and now I don’t know.” After two days of large-group discussions on the fundamentals of innovation and small-group challenges putting those fundamentals to the test, one participant at a recent BearingPoint innovation event seemingly lamented having gone backward and away from solutions. However, the participant quickly followed up that “I don’t know” comment by explaining how examining her company’s and her own individual challenges revealed an incredible complexity — but the presence and guidance of an established consultancy provided reassurance that complexity could be managed and innovation started, if not guaranteed to bring success. Every consulting client should be so thoroughly uncertain about their problems while comforted knowing they’ve got help at the ready.

TBR perspective: Diversity, subtlety and the art of consulting

The entire event accentuated uncertainty, but with a sense that innovation challenges can be solved, creating an ideal hunting ground for consulting opportunities. BearingPoint strengthened advocates for innovation while consistently and subtly reminding those advocates that they would need help. By building toward a workable solution to a real-world innovation challenge, BearingPoint used a velvet hammer to reinforce that “you can change, you must change, and change requires consulting.”

TBR includes coverage of BearingPoint in our Management Consulting Benchmark, and the most recent profile, published in April, noted that “as a business and technology consulting firm [positioned] for predominantly EMEA clients, BearingPoint will continue to attract clients with holistic consult-build-run solutions across its three business pillars — Consulting, Solutions and Ventures — to enable clients’ business transformations through advanced technologies. BearingPoint’s agile offerings in its three primary business units and local market expertise will resonate well in the EMEA market and support the company’s growth over the next two years.” This innovation event reinforced TBR’s assessment of BearingPoint’s ability to see its approach and offerings resonate well with existing clients and very likely continue to lure new clients away from traditional European and global consulting competitors. BearingPoint has not built its own innovation/collaboration/experience center and the firm’s overall approach at the innovation event remained subtle throughout the two and a half days — but BearingPoint’s effort was effective and highly replicable, and the lasting impact will likely be measurable by the firm’s 2019 growth.