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IBM Think Digital 2020: Making the case for better together

IBM places hybrid cloud at the center of its digital transformation strategy from both a product and a services perspective

At both the IBM and Red Hat sessions, there was no shortage of content that placed hybrid cloud at the center of digital transformation. Through various keynotes and sessions, IBM’s architectural approach, which places Red Hat as the foundational layer for future innovations, came to the forefront. A key example is the IBM Cloud Paks, which are to IBM Services what Red Hat products are to open-source projects. Cloud Paks provide functionality as a service, making it easy for customers to deploy the middleware functionalities that support solutions and applications. The combination of the advantages of cloud computing with IBM’s trusted ability to manage, update and certify solutions for regulatory compliance enable significant improvements in ability and flexibility. It is an emulation of the Red Hat playbook, albeit with far-reaching implications to the Global Technology Services business.

At the event IBM unveiled the IBM Cloud Pak for Data 3.0, which leverages OpenShift 4.3 to deliver new analytics and data management services. Further, IBM’s Partner Packages is a new incentive program for partners that successfully sell the solutions, underscoring IBM’s desire to facilitate customers’ cloud migrations by combining the expertise of services partners with the flexibility of the Cloud Paks.

However, the hybrid cloud model is anything but confined, and Whitehurst noted that edge devices must essentially operate as little clouds and require the same orchestration and interoperability standards. Edge implications address both the telco and enterprise spaces. Network virtualizations seemingly merge IT and cellular technology (CT) through virtualizing those functions to run on the same common platforms supported by OpenShift. Vodafone Business made the case that it leap-frogged competition in India by building a modern architecture that enabled the company to run IT and CT from the same cloud, delivering better consumer service for voice and extending IBM into the adjacent market of hosting enterprise workloads from the same instance.

IBM Think Digital 2020 made the case that IBM and Red Hat are better together — better together in mixed infrastructure, better together in cloud and AI, and better together in IBM’s and Red Hat’s ways of working. Lastly, IBM and Red Hat are better together with Arvind Krishna as IBM’s CEO and Jim Whitehurst as IBM’s president, as the former can assure customers of the IBM offering road map built on Red Hat’s engine while the latter can instill the operational best practices for managing people, processes and financial metrics for a technology world built increasingly on open platforms and recurring revenue subscription models.

IBM expands hybrid cloud activities by partnering with India-based IT services peers

Partnering with IT services peers and integrating Global Business Services and Global Technology Services capabilities will help IBM improve client engagement and increase cloud signings

Hybrid cloud remains an area of investment for IBM as the company pursues transformational opportunities with clients. IBM’s recent investments in improving its hybrid cloud capabilities, most notably with IBM Cloud Paks and bringing Red Hat solutions and professional services on board, help strengthen its position in cloud. IBM’s ambition is to deepen its understanding of clients’ journeys to hybrid cloud and AI; in 1Q20 the company announced that it is making hybrid cloud its fourth platform — the others being services, mainframe and middleware.

Partnering with India-centric IT service providers such as HCL Technologies (HCLT), Infosys and Tech Mahindra expands IBM Services’ client reach for hybrid cloud solutions. IBM partnered with HCLT in November to migrate and modernize VMware workloads on the IBM public cloud. IBM is combining its secured, enterprise-grade public cloud with HCLT’s delivery and managed services capabilities to move, manage and modernize complex VMware workloads in the cloud.

In March IBM partnered with Infosys to enable clients’ digital transformations through the IBM public cloud offering. IBM Services’ reach in the financial services, insurance and healthcare sectors will expand as the partners integrate their professional services capabilities to enable clients to transition, modernize and transform enterprise workloads and applications, leveraging security, open innovation and enterprise solutions on the IBM public cloud. The partnership will also increase adoption of IBM’s Red Hat OpenShift platform and generate opportunities for IBM Services around consulting and technology services offerings for Red Hat and multicloud management. In April IBM partnered with Tech Mahindra to migrate core business applications to the IBM public cloud utilizing IBM Cloud Paks. The partners will open innovation centers, with the first one in Bangalore, India, to address business problems using transformational solutions developed with IBM Cloud Paks.

According to TBR’s 4Q19 Cloud Professional Services Benchmark, COVID‐19 has jolted the cloud adoption timeline from a comfortable curve to a forced spike, which opens up myriad cloud professional services opportunities. IBM Services’ well-established security and hybrid cloud capabilities will provide growth opportunities for the rest of 2020 as business disruptions caused by COVID-19 highlight the benefits of cybersecurity and cloud-based solutions. The pandemic will accelerate IBM’s partnership activities as the company pursues opportunities to ramp up adoption of hybrid cloud and AI solutions to enable clients to restore and relaunch post-pandemic and establish new business models in a new normal.

Trailing vendors collaborate to better compete against market leaders, which are expanding globally

Public Cloud Market Summary

Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft remain leaders in public cloud, but their cloud strategies are extending well beyond the segment as they also enable hybrid environments with internal hybrid cloud offerings such as Azure and Azure Stack that entice enterprises with latency-sensitive or regulated workloads to leverage cloud environments. Microsoft is improving its competitive position against AWS through partnerships, notably its direct data center connections with Oracle. Although only a limited number of regions support these direct connections currently, the Microsoft-Oracle partnership is expanding with new direct connections in Canada. However, AWS holds significant IaaS market share and remains the leading IaaS provider as of 4Q19.

While both vendors still offer IaaS, IBM and Google have taken unique approaches to winning enterprise customers through vendor-agnostic and Kubernetes-based PaaS. IBM holds a greater share of this market as it attained a strong IBM Cloud Private customer base prior to the launch of Anthos, and IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat grew IBM’s position in the space. TBR expects that both IBM and Google will be successful with this vendor-agnostic strategy as many enterprises look to leverage Kubernetes-based PaaS for their hybrid environments, evidenced by IBM’s customer base of more than 2,000 clients using Red Hat and IBM container solutions — such as IBM Cloud Paks — as of 4Q19.

Public cloud remains the largest and fastest growing segment of the cloud market. Changes in customer acceptance, data integrations and innovation have combined to sustain the rapid growth of public cloud adoption. TBR’s Public Cloud Benchmark details how hybrid deployments, new use cases for enterprise apps, and trends in emerging technology will make public cloud even more relevant in the future.

IBM, Atos and SAP report cloud growth in 1Q20 despite COVID-19 pandemic

As companies begin releasing 1Q20 earnings, TBR is analyzing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the latter half of the quarter. Our findings from earnings this week show:

  • IBM’s cloud business prospered despite the negative impact of COVID-19 on overall revenue as synergies with Red Hat drove subscription sales, which is a testament to IBM’s hybrid cloud ambitions under new leadership.
  • As cloud-based solutions and other key technologies enable rapid changes in people’s work and personal lives brought about by COIVD-19, Atos’ technology-led value proposition will help the company capture cloud growth opportunities in the dynamic market.
  • Despite a turbulent macroeconomic environment, sustained cloud growth and services and driving SAP’s corporate growth. TBR expects revenue and margins will remain pressured in 2Q20, but will begin to normalize in 2H20.

Additional reports recently published by TBR’s analyst teams

1Q20 Infosys Initial Response

Infosys enters FY21 with a healthy pipeline, but COVID-19 will test the durability of its Navigate Your Next strategy as the company mobilizes its technology heritage to withstand headwinds.

1Q20 Telecom IoT Market Landscape

CSP IoT revenue growth will gradually accelerate through 2024 as more 5G use cases become commercially available. Supporting these next-generation use cases will be contingent on network deployments, including edge compute build-outs and 5G standalone infrastructure.

1Q20 IBM Services Initial Response

Sustaining signings growth will improve IBM Services’ ability to alleviate revenue growth pressures in 2Q20 from macroeconomic uncertainty tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

1Q20 Atos Initial Response

The COVID-19 pandemic will inevitably challenge Atos’ performance during 2020; however, offerings around digital workplace, cloud, cybersecurity, and unified communication and collaboration will mitigate the negative effect on revenues.

1Q20 AT&T Initial Response

Revenue declines associated with COVID-19, including lower WarnerMedia advertising revenue and decreased wireless equipment sales, will cause AT&T to increase focus on aggressive cost-cutting measures to strengthen its financial position.

1Q20 Ericsson Initial Response

Ericsson sustained revenue growth and high margins in 1Q20 as 5G RAN deployments surged in the U.S., but the company has yet to feel the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which could affect supply chains and demand going forward.

4Q19 Commercial IoT Benchmark

The commercial IoT market continued to show moderate revenue growth in 4Q19, as IoT projects are smaller in scale and IoT is getting baked into other strategic projects. While the COVID-19 outbreak will negatively impact the IoT market in 2020, TBR expects commercial IoT will maintain long-term growth as organizations continue to utilize AI and IoT solutions to lower operating expenses.

SAP and IBM were prepared, responding rapidly, but are still waiting for COVID-19’s peak impact

The 1Q20 earnings releases of IBM and SAP offered the first glimpse into how COVID-19 is impacting IT vendors financially and into the strategies being used to respond. The two vendors are a positive litmus test for the rest of the IT industry, given their breadth of businesses and customer bases across geographies and vertical industries. From their performances and commentary, it is clear that 1Q20 was a tale of two halves. Before mid-February, business was progressing as normal, while after that point, customer priorities shifted and many deals stalled. In the latter half of the quarter, IBM’s and SAP’s priorities also shifted, including both vendors citing 95% of their workforces have been moved to working remotely. Revenue was slightly impacted during the quarter, but more significantly, the two vendors noted their reactions to the many facets of the virus.

Transactional businesses suffer the first negative impacts

Early results show the COVID-19 pandemic is having the most profound impact on transactional businesses. In broad terms, IT business models fall into two categories: transactional and annuity. Transactional businesses are those where an immediate one-time event results in revenue for the vendor and access to a product for the customer. For IT vendors, examples of transactional businesses are software licensing hardware sales and fixed-price services.

Both IBM (NYSE: IBM) and SAP (NYSE: SAP) cited the stalling of their software licensing businesses as the biggest weakness experienced during 1Q20. The quarter was progressing fairly normally until roughly mid-February, at which point customer priorities shifted dramatically and many sales engagements came to a halt. That behavior is understandable, as at first the uncertainty surrounding the virus caused customers to pause, and then attention shifted to direct COVID-19 responses, primarily the shift of most employees to working remotely. The impact during 1Q20 was amplified by the seasonal dynamics of the software license sales business, which relies on most deals closing just before quarter’s end. By the end of March, the impacts of COVID-19 were in full effect, as most customers dealt with huge disruption to normal operations.

There is both good and bad news for software licensing throughout the remainder of 2020. The bad news is that the first quarter is the lightest seasonal quarter for software licensing and hardware sales — both IBM and SAP expect to experience a bigger impact in the second quarter. The potential good news is that there is still a possibility some of the impacts caused by COVID-19 could fade before 2H20, when the majority of software licensing activity typically occurs. In this respect, the timing of reopening and resuming business as usual will have deep implications for any vendor with a transactional software business like that of SAP and IBM.

Annuity businesses are immune, at least for now

Annuity business recognize revenue from long-term contracts over time, which is an asset in the current environment. For IBM, SAP and Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), annuity businesses are primarily cloud subscriptions and software maintenance, and those businesses have so far remained resilient. Especially for these vendors, the resiliency of annuity businesses reinforces the benefit of shifting to a cloud subscription model, even though it was disruptive to the traditional software licensing model. There has been a marked shift to cloud for IBM, SAP and Oracle over the past 10 years, which increased the mix of their revenue from annuity businesses, of which IBM boasts more than 60%, Oracle 71% and SAP 70%.

For more insight on how COVID-19 is changing IT sales strategies, read Senior Strategy Consultant Geoff Woollacott’s blog COVID-19: Shifting customer loyalties and selling motions.

COVID-19: Shifting customer loyalties and selling motions

Recent earnings calls by IBM and SAP triggered two broad yet interconnected thoughts:

  • The current pause in economic activity presents a pervasive period of thinking slow — recalling the book “Thinking, Fast and Slow” — for businesses, which could result in persistent share shifts.
  • The tactical need for more digital commerce avenues seems poised to accelerate a skill set transformation in selling organizations, away from the affable blue suit seller and toward a more consultative selling model.

Thinking slow requires deliberation, and deliberation comes when life-changing events happen

That headline is the fundamental premise of the book, which nets out as two different lines of thinking. System 1 is our reflexive thinking, and System 2 is our more deliberate thinking. System 2 gets triggered by life-changing events, such as reviewing purchase patterns while preparing to add the first child to a family. This was the underpinning of Target’s strategy to market to expectant mothers to lock them in to long-term buying patterns. COVID-19 has certainly triggered System 2 thinking for business decision makers.

IT is the backbone of digital commerce and, therefore, gets called into question by virtually all businesses no matter where they are on the transformation continuum. Close scrutiny of all discretionary spend and major projects means IT purchasers will be rapidly assessing their buying criteria, including revisiting those used prior to the COVID-19 outbreak to determine if they still apply in light of the current economic climate and somewhat fuzzy future outlook.

IT firms with solid digital practices and the ability to meet enterprise demands from a nimble virtual environment will be able to gain long-term share once the economy stabilizes and thinking fast returns to the business community.

Is COVID-19 the Death of a Salesman?

Both IBM and SAP mentioned in their earnings calls the need to shift more of their selling motions to virtual activities. IBM also highlighted the shift to virtual garages. This movement has a couple of potential impacts:

  • Blue suit selling has to shift from relationship building to advisory selling, satisfying the aforementioned System 2 thinking going on among enterprises around the globe. This shift will require more immediate translation of technical implications and seller capabilities around business pain points — something that was previously addressed in the second or third sales interactions when the blue suit seller brought in a coterie of subject matter experts. In essence, that first point of contact is being replaced by digital tools. That somewhat depersonalizes the engagement, but it also strips considerable cost and turnaround time out of the prevailing selling models while enabling decision makers to seek answers through System 2 thinking. In some ways, this brings the consumerization of IT into the enterprise in much the same way that omnichannel marketing from e-tailers such as Amazon has disrupted traditional brick-and-mortar delivery of consumer goods to the populace.
  • Advisory selling will have to become more of the norm for all technology sellers and not just the high-end advisory firms. Buying more network capacity could be considered a quick-hit selling transaction for a territory sales rep. It could also be an opening to discuss the overall IT estate, the impact of SD-WAN on security and cloud access, and the need to revisit the whole enterprise IT construct for better resiliency lest an economic impact like COVID-19 — or COVID-19 itself — resurfaces in the future. System 1 thinking would have the seller “take the order,” no questions asked. System 2 consultative selling would ask the questions of the purchaser and seek to expand the engagement into a broader discussion more beneficial to the client and more lucrative to the seller.
  • Will the buildup of design centers wind up as a competitive cost disadvantage as more businesses become comfortable with virtual engagements? We saw the phenomenon of virtual activity replacing in-person activity solidify teleconferences as a business after 9/11 curtailed air travel. Now the health risks of in-person meetings will spur further use of virtual meetings and, with it, a potential reduction in demand for these high-cost design-thinking studio facilities.
  • Transformation maturity impacts buying behaviors considerably. Those ahead of the curve on transformation are feeling very optimistic about their ability to weather this economic pause. They did the System 2 thinking and are somewhat comfortable in System 1 mode. They also are likely to have some checklists and deeper understanding of the ramifications that they can step through more quickly than less digitally savvy peers. Others are delaying transformation engagements due to a desire to conserve cash, and still others hear horror stories in other industries and see where digital transformation of their operations could inoculate them against this business threat if they move ahead with infusing intelligence into their front- and back-office systems. So leaders lengthen their leads, the hesitant can fall behind, and the newly awakened can get ahead of the vertical impact by heeding the lessons learned of their business colleagues in adjacent industries.

The global economy as we know it is on pause. Our System 1 thinking — our conventional wisdom — is being seriously challenged. This enables savvy business leaders to take this time to rethink their IT investment decisions. When thinking slow, they will be making decisions on suppliers that will have far-reaching market share implications. In turn, savvy technology companies will need to pivot to virtual engagements to provide customers with the desired self-service content and the technically savvy advisors to help work through customers’ future plans in light of this once-in-a-lifetime economic event still cascading through economic activity in real time.

For more insight on how COVID-19 is changing IT sales strategies, read Principal Analyst Allan Krans’ special report SAP and IBM were prepared, responding rapidly, but are still waiting for COVID-19’s peak impact.

IBM’s cloud business jumps thanks to Red Hat, but total revenue still down by 3%

“‘Despite the stalling economic downturn over the past month, IBM still operates from a position of growth with a healthy pipeline of services engagements that are augmented by Red Hat’s commitment to automated and open sourced development,’ said Nicki Catchpole, senior analyst at TBR Cloud and Software.” — WRAL TechWire

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.

Growing partnerships with key cloud vendors help sustain Capgemini’s success

As Senior Analyst Elitsa Bakalova notes this week, “Partners are key contributors to Capgemini’s technology-enabled transformations around next-generation technologies, such as digital and cloud. The expanded partnership with Amazon Web Services enhances Capgemini’s AWS business in North America and improves its ability to advance cloud adoption in a strategic region for Capgemini’s global expansion. Additionally, the integration of Altran continues, and as of Jan. 27, Capgemini holds 53.57% of Altran’s share capital and at least 53.41% of Altran’s voting rights. Altran will improve Capgemini’s ability to deliver digital transformation to the industrial sector and position as an intelligent industry vendor that can provide solutions around Engineering 4.0 and Industry 4.0.” Across the IT services spectrum, TBR has seen substantial changes in the way vendors partner with cloud and software companies, an area we will examine in greater detail throughout 2020.

Additional assessments publishing this week from our analyst teams

Tata Consultancy Services closed 2019 with continued revenue growth, which TBR attributes to ongoing investments in its solution suite and talent pool, alongside aggressive pricing. Strengthening its digital capabilities that enable technology-based transformation, at scale, for the company’s global clientele will drive further growth in 2020.”  — Kevin Collupy, Analyst

 “TBR expects T-Systems’ revenue growth will slightly accelerate in 4Q19 as the company benefits from an improved delivery network and a realigned portfolio that offers clients cloud, IoT and security capabilities that support growth initiatives. T-Systems leverages partnerships that enhance scale and help to embed emerging technologies within its core portfolio offerings and equip the company to drive revenue growth around these capabilities. As T-Systems infuses growth areas throughout its portfolio and realigns business segments to focus on these profitable avenues, including the establishment of an integrated telecommunications business that will house telecommunication services and classified ICT business, the company will be able to leverage more flexible delivery and innovation models to position as more customer-led and customer-centric.” — Kelly Lesiczka, Analyst

 “AsCisco integrates acquired assets to provide advanced security and intent-based networking solutions, we expect Cisco Customer Experience will benefit from pull-through support and maintenance opportunities, allowing it to sustain revenue growth in 4Q19. Additionally, portfolio growth to include hybrid IT and multicloud will also provide migration and management engagements, creating new areas of growth. Similarly, expanding its software and subscription portfolio provides consistent revenue streams, contributing to Cisco Customer Experience revenue growth through support and maintenance engagements. Leveraging its core strength areas, such as security, networking and SD-WAN, will help Cisco to maintain its existing engagements while also effectively combating competitive pressures from vendors pursuing opportunities in similar growth areas. Cisco’s technical expertise improves its ability to differentiate its professional services portfolio from that of its peers.”
Kelly Lesiczka

“The cloud solutions agreement with the National Association of State Procurement Officials through September 2026 is a milestone for Capgemini’s cloud services business in the U.S. as the simple contractual process will expand the company’s activities in the public sector, which TBR does not believe to be a leading industry in the country for Capgemini, unlike its business in financial services and manufacturing. Capgemini will provide joint offerings with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, BMC, ServiceNow and Virtustream.” — Elitsa Bakalova

“TBR estimates HCL Technologies (HCLT) will sustain revenue growth of between 15% and 16.5% year-to-year through 2021, and will operate within its guided range of 16.5% to 17% in constant currency for FY20. Acquisitions provide HCLT with expanded market share and enhance portfolio offerings to appeal to dynamic client demand and propel revenue. Developing HCL Software and incorporating partner assets to support integration and management opportunities will create recurring and higher-profit revenue streams. We expect HCLT will leverage its software business to capture higher-value services engagements, but the company must be mindful of cannibalization within its traditional services streams, which comprise the majority of revenue. Additionally, deal size remains smaller than in previous years, with most clients in the $1-plus million category as HCLT benefits from an increase in software license and deployment deals. TBR believes most deals during the quarter were generated with new logos, as HCLT looks to drive recurring revenue streams tied to the HCL Software business unit, which will generate additional growth in the $1-plus million category from cross-selling and upselling other product and software offerings.” — Kelly Lesiczka  

IBM faced healthcare IT services (HITS) headwinds throughout 2019, plagued by media reports and customer dissatisfaction with emergent solutions leveraging AI, mainly Watson for Oncology. The newly appointed general manager of Watson Health, Paul Roma, will work to improve employee satisfaction in addition to building confidence among IBM investors and partners within the wider healthcare market. A more succinct portfolio and go-to-market strategy supported by recent internal restructuring efforts will be critical to returning IBM to growth in 2020, when TBR estimates the company’s annual HITS revenue growth will reach 2.2%. Further, IBM’s addition of Red Hat and background in emerging technology areas such as blockchain for insurance industries and AI — despite missteps in these areas in 2018 — will enhance the value of the company’s existing HITS suite and offer it differentiation in the market compared to peers.” — Kelly Lesiczka

Plus, this Wednesday, join TBR’s Chris Antlitz for his insights from TBR’s 2020 Telecom Predictions: “TBR’s research suggests 2020 will be a springboard year for the telecom industry’s development of the new architecture, with spend in the key markets of 5G, network virtualization and edge computing poised to ramp up significantly through the middle of the next decade. TBR also anticipates that systems integrators will play a much broader and key role in helping CSPs transform their businesses and networks and that webscales will increasingly encroach on CSP turf as they concurrently pursue new value created from the aforementioned technologies.”

Big changes for Big Blue

Lots of news coming from IBM these past few weeks, and we have plenty of analysis on it from Geoff Woollacott, Stephanie Long, Elitsa Bakalova, Catie Merrill and Nicole Catchpole. IBM unveiled a new Power System and announced Ginni Rometty will be stepping down, making way for cloud champion Arvind Krishna to emerge as the new CEO, effective April 6. TBR’s 4Q19 IBM report will comment on these changes as well as touch on the overall health and performance of IBM corporate and its Systems Hardware business.

Additional assessments publishing this week from our analyst teams

“TBR estimates Wipro IT Services’ (ITS) revenue growth will accelerate in 2020, as the company leverages a broad network of centers opened throughout 2019, including centers dedicated to industry solutions and emerging technologies as well as centers that enhance core capabilities. An emphasis on centers will lead to cross-selling and upselling opportunities and improved client retention within Wipro’s addressable market. Additionally, increasing training and reskilling efforts will allow Wipro ITS to more effectively communicate its portfolio and manage client relationships to drive opportunities around its digital offerings. Wipro ITS’ ability to accelerate revenue growth will be contingent on securing deals around emerging digital assets — particularly through its now-robust cloud platform partner ecosystem — to expand its wallet share and mitigate its lack of digital scale compared to peers.” — Kelly Lesiczka, Analyst

“Recent acquisitions, such as that of Luxoft and Syscom, reinforce DXC’s focus on integrating acquired industry expertise into its distinct industry segments to create higher-value engagements and build longer-term relationships with clients. DXC will aim to capture technology demand in industries such as automotive, which aligns with industry strengths gained through strategic acquisitions such as Luxoft.” — Kevin Collupy, Analyst 

“Moving through 2020, Cognizant’s ability to create scale for its newly acquired digital solutions and services will be critical to driving growth, though its emphasis on digital will have an adverse impact on its traditional outsourcing business. We expect Cognizant will operate within its revenue guidance in 4Q19 as it emphasizes its digital portfolio to drive adoption of emerging technologies as well as looks to key verticals to generate use cases and drive growth opportunities.” — Kelly Lesiczka

“T-Mobile will end 2019 on a high note as the company’s annual postpaid net additions and adjusted EBITDA will surpass initial guidance expectations. T-Mobile’s momentum will continue in 2020 regardless of the outcome of the proposed Sprint merger, as the company’s widespread 5G coverage and expanding portfolio and service options will attract new customers.” — Steve Vachon, Analyst

In 4Q19 Google Cloud saw rapid revenue growth that paralleled and validated its continued and planned investments in infrastructure, R&D, talent, partnerships and expansion of its global footprint. TBR predicts this accelerated pace of growth, fueled by Google Cloud Platform and Anthos, will help the company close the gap with market share leaders Amazon Web Services and Microsoft. In addition, 4Q19 marks the first time that Alphabet disclosed Google Cloud revenue, a move that isolates and highlights the significant growth rate of this sector of the overall business. — Nicole Catchpole, Senior Analyst

On Wednesday Principal Analyst Ezra Gottheil and Analyst Eric Costa will host a live webinar and Q&A on TBR’s predictions for IoT in 2020 and beyond, including the more purposeful role of AI in IoT and how the conversational interface will demonstrate its relevance. Register today for “IoT settles in for the long haul,” and check out our Webinar Portal to view all of TBR’s previously aired webinars.