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Amid a sea of portfolio offerings, Accenture’s TS&A practice helps the company translate tech into business outcomes

Accenture’s TS&A practice provides path into re-architecting clients’ DT programs 

Accenture’s value proposition continues to revolve around the company’s ability to deliver services through integrated scale, addressing clients’ pain points across the various stages of the advise-build-run life cycle. In mid-December TBR had a chance to hear from the leaders of Accenture’s Technology Strategy and Advisory (TS&A) practice, which, in TBR’s view, has been one of the industry’s best-kept secrets as it provides a bridge between the various parts of Accenture’s organization. Launched following the company’s pivot to the Next-Gen Growth model in March 2020, the TS&A practice is part of Accenture’s Strategy & Consulting business, which is focused on architecting and translating the value of technology to both tech and business clients.

TBR estimates Accenture’s IT consulting revenue, which we believe largely maps to the TS&A practice portfolio, grew 30% year-to-year to $4.7 billion in 2021. Backed by over 4,000 dedicated practitioners across seven capability groups — Cloud Acceleration and Innovation, Data-led Transformation, Enterprise Agility, Future Tech, Technology Value Realization, Trust and Security, and Tech Mergers and Acquisitions. Accenture Cloud First is a significant contributor in the TS&A’s performance.  

With tools such myNav, myDiagnostic and Transformation Office at its disposal, TS&A, in TBR’s view, has an opportunity to further accelerate its performance, provided the practice’s account management does not overlap with that of other parts of Accenture’s business, especially as the unit also targets Accenture’s traditional buyer personas, including the CIO and chief technology officer (CTO). Accenture sees CIOs and CTOs as the “new corporate rock stars,” which is a logical position considering Accenture’s established enterprise footprint and decades-long relationships with these personas.

TS&A strives to elevate the value of Accenture’s portfolio around its ability to include innovation while also supporting CIOs and CTOs in, as Accenture calls them, the “5Rs”: Resilience, Restructuring, Reinvention, Reskilling and Reduction. We see Accenture bringing innovation into these discussions in two ways: by embedding and relying on its network of luminaries, who can infuse cross-industry use cases to support engagements; and by utilizing its global network of innovation hubs.

With Accenture again investing in physical centers, including the recent openings of a smart-city-centric hub in Singapore; Innovation Center for Cloud in Indonesia; Advanced Technology Center in Thailand; Innovation Showcase at Expo 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Interactive Studio in Munich, Germany, we believe TS&A has a new set of opportunities to increase awareness of the practice across the company’s broader portfolio, especially as the practice seems to have been withstanding the industry trend of increased employee turnover, with flat attrition over the past year. (See TBR’s Innovation and Transformation Centers Market Landscape for additional details.)  

TBR views Deloitte Digital as the most direct competitor to TS&A; however, Deloitte’s member firm structure often challenges Deloitte Digital to execute on a cohesive strategy, creating an opening for TS&A. Relying on industry- and function-specific playbooks, which Accenture updates as often as every six months, also helps the company stay abreast of new trends and support clients through their transformation agendas. Additionally, the exclusive alignment of TS&A’s portfolio capabilities with partner offerings enhances the practice’s value proposition.

For example, TS&A aligns with Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure for industry solutions; with Atlassian for enterprise agility; with Celonis, ServiceNow and Splunk for data-driven transformation (since we spoke with TS&A’s leadership, Accenture has expanded its relationships with Celonis and Splunk and recently launched the Accenture Splunk Business Group); and Apptio for technology value. This strategy could disrupt Accenture’s partner model if it scales up, especially as the company continues to tout vendor agnosticism. In the long term, though, we believe as services vendors retune their partner messaging and go-to-market efforts to meet enterprise buyers’ expectations, pivoting from being vendor agnostic to capability aligned will help separate winning vendors from laggards. Accenture is in its typical market-making position, and the TS&A practice could signal the company’s plans to make a market-leading change once again. ​ 

TBR covers Accenture’s financial and go-to-market strategies extensively throughout our Services, Digital, Cloud and Telecom research streams. Please see the author of this blog for further questions on Accenture’s TS&A practice.  

5G will push CSPs to accelerate and broaden their NFV/SDN-related initiatives

According to TBR’s 1Q19 NFV/SDN Telecom Market Landscape, leading operators will accelerate and broaden their network transformations en route to deploying 5G and becoming digital service providers (DSPs). Softwarization, virtualization and cloudification are foundational aspects of a DSP’s network.

5G is greatly enhanced when using virtualization, especially when enabling and maximizing the benefits of network slicing and achieving better radio access network (RAN) economics. Though most operators intend to initially deploy the non-stand-alone (NSA) standard of 5G, which tethers 5G radio with evolved packet core (EPC), an eventual upgrade to the stand-alone (SA) standard, which tethers 5G radio to a 5G core, will become a reality in the early 2020s.

5G core is inherently virtualized, and communication service providers (CSPs) will be keen to prepare their networks to maximize the benefits of utilizing a fully virtualized network architecture, which includes, but is not limited to, increasing agility, flexibility, visibility and cost efficiency.

In 2019 Rakuten will become the first fully virtualized DSP in the world. Should the company’s approach to network architecture work, it will legitimize and embolden other CSPs to double down on their network transformations and hasten their migration to white-box hardware and cloud-native architectures.

CSPs are under pressure to invest in NFV/SDN to reduce total capex and opex spend as well as introduce new services and stay competitive in the data-driven digital economy, which is increasingly dominated by webscale and over-the-top players. This pressure will prompt more CSPs to spend on NFV/SDN during the forecast period. TBR expects 27.5% of total CSP capex and external opex spend will be allocated to NFV/SDN by the end of 2022.

total global csp nfv/sdn spend

Genpact adapts its service delivery model to help customers succeed with their digital transformations

Internal shift positions Genpact to capture digital demand

Genpact hosted approximately 50 analysts on March 13 in Boston’s Seaport district to provide an update on its business and transition to the digital age. Additionally, the company highlighted its service design capabilities and how it’s differentiating from peers. Genpact continually invests in its business and delivery model to align with changing client demand for emerging technologies, such as IoT, digital and cloud, and has initiated its fourth major companywide evolution in the last 20-plus years, this time to embrace digital. Building out AI and automation-enabled services strengthens Genpact’s core capabilities around business process services with an outcome-based approach, to provide clients with the tools and technology necessary to streamline and automate lower-value tasks. Genpact’s approach to digital transforms clients’ traditional workflows to address their challenges. This approach includes identifying digital tools and technologies that allow clients to improve operations and customer satisfaction by eliminating pain points and bottlenecks associated with manual tasks.

During its presentation, Genpact noted that less than 50% of its approximately 98,000 employees are based in India. Building talent throughout the U.S., Australia, LATAM and Europe increases Genpact’s client touchpoints and enables it to work more closely with clients around transformation and drive business value and insights for clients. Also, the expanded global client base improves Genpact’s position as a global professional services vendor and helps the company move beyond the perception of being a low-cost BPO provider.

Nokia hedges 5G play with focus on opportunities in the enterprise space

TBR perspective

The next few years will be challenging for Nokia (NYSE: NOK), and execution will be critical to ensure the company is optimized to drive profitable revenue growth when its addressable market ultimately returns to sustained growth. With its core communication service provider (CSP) customer segment, which composes 95% of Networks’ revenue, expected to remain in a cost-optimization cycle pending new, proven revenue growth opportunities enabled by 5G (which TBR’s research suggests remains several years away), Nokia’s strategic focus on opportunities in the enterprise space and its internal digital transformation are prudent and timely and will take center stage in determining how financially successful the company will be as it transitions into the next decade.

Though more CSPs are committing to deploy 5G and other advanced network innovations such as virtualization over the next few years, the reality is that these infrastructure investments are being justified because they provide significant cost efficiencies to CSPs, enabling them to build, operate and support networks in a much more efficient and cost-effective manner compared to prior generations of network technology. This reality not only increases pressure on Nokia to boost its enterprise exposure to grow revenue, but also pushes management to accelerate digital transformation to protect margins.

Though TBR generally agrees with Nokia’s stance that the world is at the cusp of Industry 4.0, the divergence in thought comes down to timing and whether this cycle will be a short-duration revolution or a long-term evolution. TBR’s research suggests the latter and that Industry 4.0, which includes mass 5G adoption globally, will not ramp up until the 2022-2025 timeframe, at which point business cases will be proved, justifying an increase in market spend on ICT infrastructure. Until that time, Nokia needs to rightsize its shorter-term expectations and focus on building a solid foundation for its fledgling enterprise business while digitally transforming its internal operations to stay competitive.

 

 

Enterprises, 5G and Industry 4.0 dominated most of the mindshare at Nokia’s 2018 Global Analyst Forum. Nokia spent much less time discussing its individual product innovations and more time discussing how technology, people and processes are coming together to enable digital transformation, not only for CSPs but also for enterprises.

UiPath Forward Americas

UiPath brings robots ‘to life’ through business-first approach

Under the slogan “a robot for every person” UiPath’s CEO and Co-founder Daniel Dines’ vision for automation takes a pragmatic approach and furthers Bill Gates’ 1980 Microsoft mission of “A computer on every desk and in every home.” While UiPath and/or any of its competitors are far from making this vision a reality, it certainly summarizes the company’s total addressable market. As UiPath executes on its vision, the company’s comprehensive portfolio of attended and unattended robots as well as a SaaS orchestrator solution meet current market needs for solutions addressing brokerage and management of structured and unstructured data across the front, middle and back office. Additionally, UiPath’s approach to automation through a business lens makes it an appealing vendor that can help consultancies and other alliance partners better target line-of-business leads, especially clients with backgrounds in Six Sigma and Lean methodology training.

While UiPath will continue to have the tough task of overcoming skepticism around the public perception that automation will eliminate jobs, educating the market on the broader ROI from the use of RPA, including increased productivity, improved accuracy and compliance, can help it counteract initial resistance and accelerate adoption. Use cases, such the one with a Japan-based bank that deployed 1,000 UiPath robots to optimize the work of 700 FTEs with the long-term goal of creating capacity for 4,000 employees and saving $500 million over three years, make for a tangible impact on operations and the bottom line.

As the pendulum continues to swing between hope for and fear of automation, accelerated by hype, UiPath’s value proposition and go-to-market strategy enables it to illustrate that automation is not a jobs killer but rather a jobs creator.

 

 

TBR attended the second annual UiPath Forward Americas conference in Miami. TBR interacted with executives from across UiPath and its partners and clients. With over 1,500 attendees, including 500 partners and client executives, the conference was three times larger than the first UiPath Forward Americas event a year ago. During the sessions, UiPath highlighted its exponential success over the past three years, with a fair dose of energy but balanced with humility. UiPath provided an update on its financial performance and portfolio road map and laid out new initiatives including the launches of UiPath Go, the Academic Alliance, the UiPath Venture Innovation Fund and the UiPath Partner Acceleration Fund. These new initiatives connected well with the discussions about the need for democratization of automation and collaboration among business leaders, IT and the partner ecosystem.

Federal initiatives around IT modernization translate to revenue growth for public sector services providers

Growth opportunities across defense and civilian agencies uplift vendor performance

The results of TBR’s 2Q18 Public Sector IT Services Benchmark demonstrate clear top-line benefits for services providers as government agencies accelerate IT modernization initiatives. Revenue for the 16 benchmarked vendors improved 5.3% year-to-year, which does not even factor in General Dynamics IT essentially doubling in size through its acquisition of CSRA. Including the impact of the acquisition, revenue grew 13.5% from 2Q17.

Graph showing weighted average total year-to-year revenue growth versus organic year-to-year revenue growth for 2Q17 through estimated 3Q18

Industry consolidation remains a prevailing theme in the market as the near-term opportunities tied to U.S. federal budget growth and the pursuit of innovation create a sense of urgency for vendors to capitalize. Scale advantages, complementary capabilities and broadened customer relationships make consolidation a compelling tool to facilitate near-term deal capture. Consolidation will remain a prominent strategic concern, evidenced by the announcement after the close of 2Q18 that SAIC (NYSE: SAIC) plans to acquire Engility (NYSE: EGL). However, in the long run, TBR anticipates the importance of scale will diminish as rapid technological change disrupts legacy business models.

TBR believes that the door is open for industry stalwarts to be disrupted if they elect to ignore the prevailing signs that the federal government, in particular the U.S. Department of Defense, seeks change in how it procures and fields technology.

 

TBR’s Public Sector IT Services Benchmark examines the key strategies, investments and performance metrics of leading government consultants, systems integrators, and IT and professional services providers. The benchmark examines 16 vendors across three groups: services units of aerospace and defense firms, U.S. federal government pure play vendors, and public sector verticals of commercially led IT services companies. We mix qualitative analysis of key investments and strategic initiatives with quantitative analysis of financial performance to uncover the drivers of business success for vendors that offer services to government customers.

NFV/SDN will account for over one-quarter of CSP capex and external opex spend in 2022

HAMPTON, N.H. — According to Technology Business Research, Inc.’s (TBR) latest NFV/SDN Telecom Market Forecast, covering 2017 to 2022, mainstream adoption of NFV/SDN is now set for the early 2020s due to operators encountering challenges with migration.

“Despite challenges, operators will push forward with NFV/SDN and will scale their investments in these technologies,” said TBR Telecom Senior Analyst Chris Antlitz. “Operators must transform to stay relevant and competitive in the digital era, and NFV/SDN is a critical component of that transformation.”

During the forecast period, 5G will also serve as an underlying catalyst for increased NFV/SDN spend. 5G will push operators to adopt a new network architecture, and virtualization will be a critical aspect of networks.

TBR’s annual NFV/SDN Telecom Market Forecast projects spend on NFV, SDN and related services across key segments globally and by region.

Additional research on the NFV and SDN markets can be found in TBR’s NFV/SDN Telecom Market Landscape and Telecom Software Mediated Networks (NFV/SDN) Customer Adoption Study, which cover the operator and vendor landscapes and operator purchasing decisions regarding NFV and SDN, respectively.

For additional information about this research or to arrange a one-on-one analyst briefing, please contact Dan Demers at +1 603.929.1166 or [email protected].

 

ABOUT TBR

Technology Business Research, Inc. is a leading independent technology market research and consulting firm specializing in the business and financial analyses of hardware, software, professional services, and telecom vendors and operators. Serving a global clientele, TBR provides timely and actionable market research and business intelligence in a format that is uniquely tailored to clients’ needs. Our analysts are available to address client-specific issues further or information needs on an inquiry or proprietary consulting basis.

TBR has been empowering corporate decision makers since 1996. For more information please visit www.tbri.com.