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VMware’s Chapter 3 outline hinges on a more comprehensive portfolio and multicloud partnerships

TBR perspective

With the looming separation from Dell Technologies (NYSE: DELL) and departure of long-trusted CEO Pat Gelsinger, 2021 has undoubtedly been a turbulent year for VMware (NYSE: VMW). Since effectively taking over as CEO on June 1, Raghu Raghuram has been tasked with executing on Gelsinger’s vision of bringing the same virtualization products trusted by enterprises for decades into the cloud era. As many legacy software companies can attest, capturing net-new business in a market crowding with ‘born-in-the-cloud’ startups is no easy feat; yet, as the company that brought virtualization technology into the mainstream and remains pervasive throughout enterprises today, VMware faces a unique set of challenges and opportunities.

Since starting with stand-alone vSphere license agreements then progressing into full Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) stack sales, VMware is now entering what Raghuram deems the company’s Chapter 3, the era of hybrid multicloud. Like the first two chapters, Chapter 3 will be defined by product innovation, but it will require a more nuanced partner strategy, leaning on value-added resellers and hyperscalers that will help bring VMware into the cloud. This is an area TBR expects VMware to execute on especially as it enters 2022 as a stand-alone company.

VMware unveils Cross-Cloud Services to drive multiproduct adoption and position as a SaaS company

At VMworld 2020 VMware was coming off a series of tuck-in acquisitions that provided the company additional value in areas like networking, security and modern applications. Evidenced by historic acquisitions, such as VeloCloud, and more recent purchases, including Pivotal, VMware has proven its ability to use acquired IP to quickly pivot and meet demand from customers’ IT operations and development teams. While Gelsinger’s departure and the company’s spinout could be playing a role in slowing acquisition activity, VMware also appears to be at a point where it has all the workings of a competitive portfolio and must now determine how to integrate and scale it. Marking a key step in this direction was the announcement of Cross-Cloud Services at VMworld 2021.

Cross-Cloud Services is a manifestation of the company’s five-pillar framework and brings application, cloud infrastructure, cloud management, security & networking and anywhere workspace & edge services into a single, unified platform that can be deployed in any IT environment. In addition to established offerings such as VMware Cloud solutions and vRealize for cloud management, VMware released new products, such as Tanzu Application Platform (TAP) and Project Arctic, which are also offered as part of the Cross-Cloud Services product family. More services are expected to be offered under the Cross-Cloud Services umbrella in the future to provide existing customers with more choices and the flexibility to deploy VMware services anywhere.

Like many market players defined as SaaS companies, such as ServiceNow and Salesforce, VMware recently has been emphasizing product bundles. For example, in 2Q21 VMware launched Anywhere Workspace, which brings endpoint management, security and networking capabilities into a single subscription through Workspace One, VMware Carbon Black Cloud and VMware Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), respectively. However, as a company born on premises, VMware is more closely aligned with vendors such as IBM and Microsoft, which are similarly looking to support customers’ hybrid cloud journeys but face pressure to appeal to customers outside their own install bases.

While VMware faces similar challenges, the pervasiveness of VMware — evidenced by roughly 80 million vSphere-based workloads currently in production — arguably puts the company under less pressure to look outside its customer base, at least in the near term, and focus on upselling cloud and application services to its loyal base of traditional virtualization customers. The release of Cross-Cloud Services indicates VMware will take a land-and-expand approach to increase annual contract value (ACV) and become perceived as a SaaS company.  

VMworld 2021: As the coronavirus delta variant continues to take its toll, VMware held its annual event virtually for the second consecutive year. While VMworld 2021 was unique largely because it was the first VMworld in nearly a decade without Pat Gelsinger as CEO, the feel of the event remained the same, offering various breakout sessions and independent talks from customers speaking to each of the five pillars that define VMware’s DT-enabling strategy. VMware also welcomed the CEOs of all major hyperscalers, further highlighting not only its commitment to partners but also to hybrid multicloud as the model that will shape enterprise IT throughout the next 20 years.

Rackspace Technology: Becoming elastic as the ‘un-GSI’

Rackspace Technology unveils new high-touch services framework, strengthening its play in managed public cloud

In April 2021, to assert itself in the managed public cloud space, Rackspace Technology unveiled its Rackspace Elastic Engineering framework, which promises a more scalable approach to the multicloud engagement life cycle compared to standard managed services contracts. The framework provides on-demand access to pools of cloud engineers, architects and engagement managers, dubbed “pods,” that will support customers from the advisory and consulting stage to system provisioning and management. Aligned to nine dedicated specialists, each pod acts as a landing spot for customers that they will constantly engage with to achieve goals post-migration.

Rackspace Technology supports its Rackspace Elastic Engineering offering with the message: “It’s no longer enough to just be in the cloud.” While many customers will initially leverage Rackspace Technology for its vendor-neutral approach to address cloud migration requests, the pod framework is designed to support customers’ cloud-native projects, which has the potential to improve Rackspace Technology’s value-add with support for emerging technologies such as serverless functions, automation and Infrastructure as Code.

The new Rackspace Technology offering supports AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, which addresses the growing trend of customers adopting multiple cloud platforms to support specific workloads. TBR notes many cloud service providers (CSPs) are looking to address multicloud management pain points, either with professional services or self-service solutions. TBR expects that the Rackspace Technology platform-neutral approach, combined with a customer-centric approach to cloud transformation, will help the company assert itself in the managed cloud space to increasingly capture more market share away from its technology to services-centric competitors.

With both managed services and dedicated hosting capabilities, Rackspace Technology strives to become the ‘best place to run VMware’

While Rackspace Technology has been a longtime partner of VMware, offering hosting and managed services support for core virtualization offerings, VMware’s rapid shift to the cloud has presented new opportunities for IaaS players and global systems integrators (GSIs). To make it easier for customers to move VMware outside the data center, hyperscalers are allying with VMware to deliver the VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) platform — which comprises vSphere, NSX and vSAN — on dedicated or multitenant cloud infrastructure. TBR notes VMware has traditionally been less reliant on SI partners, but we expect the company to outsource VMware Cloud management tasks more heavily through 2021 as the portfolio continues to grow, due in part to its recent multiyear, multimillion-dollar partnership agreement with Accenture.

As a result of these dynamics, Rackspace Technology’s private cloud strategy was one of the main highlights conveyed with its launch of Rackspace Services for VMware Cloud. In addition to supporting various hosting methods, including on premises via consumption-based pricing, in Rackspace Technology data centers or through a colocation provider, the addition of Rackspace Services for VMware Cloud supports VMware clients from the services angle. As complexity and lack of in-house resources are among the leading customer concerns surrounding VMware migrations, Rackspace Technology is applying its Rackspace Elastic Engineering framework to support a number of use cases, from lift and shift to application refactoring.

Prior to going public again in August 2020, Rackspace Technology (Nasdaq: RXT) underwent a major strategic pivot, placing less emphasis on the capital-intensive data-hosting model it has been historically known for and shifting its investments to build a resource base within cloud professional services. With the announcements of Rackspace Elastic Engineering and Rackspace Services for VMware Cloud in April and May 2021, the company is competing in the managed cloud space with a new high-touch services framework designed to support enterprise clients at all layers of the cloud stack, from infrastructure management to application modernization. Rackspace Technology’s long-standing technology alliances with Amazon Web Services (AWS) (Nasdaq: AMZN), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), Google Cloud (Nasdaq: GOOGL) and VMware (NYSE: VMW); ability to host clients’ enterprise workloads in a dedicated cloud; and well-established Fanatical Experience brand are among the ways the company will not only seek differentiation and position itself as an alternative to peers but also establish itself as an “un-GSI.”

Spinout will soothe some ailments for Dell and VMware

After over a year of discussions about the future of the Dell-VMware relationship, on April 14, 2021, it was confirmed that Dell (NYSE: DELL) will spin off its 81% majority stake in VMware (NYSE: VMW) to create two independent companies, effective CY4Q21. Evidenced by the market’s immediate reaction, the spinoff will be an overall positive move for both companies, giving Dell the chance to reorganize as a leaner, more targeted organization while offering VMware more go-to-market flexibility. Of course, as independent companies, Dell and VMware will face challenges, but increasingly differing portfolios, revenue models and market views will position both companies for longer-term success as separate entities. 

While mostly beneficial to VMware, the spinoff will offer stand-alone Dell some pockets of opportunity

While it is true that VMware has been Dell’s secret sauce for years, the announced spinoff will not necessarily cost Dell a long-term competitive advantage. Given the investments VMware has made in the last five years to accelerate its cloud strategy and position itself as more than a virtualization software company, it makes sense for VMware to operate separately. This is true even from a branding perspective, given Dell EMC’s play in many legacy markets.

However, there is also a potential upside for Dell, as the separation could enable the company to be less reliant on VMware and move beyond the big bets it placed on software-defined hardware solutions, which have generally performed below market expectations over the past few years. TBR suspects this strategy will allow Dell to become more focused on capturing the roughly 80% of enterprises that continue to operate on premises by providing them with access to cloud services and flexible pricing within their own data centers. There are already signs of this strategy developing.

While this release could be viewed as Dell giving the market a sense of what its post-spinoff portfolio could look like, at issue for the company is that it will now be more directly aligned with competitors such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) (NYSE: HPE), Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Lenovo. Given HPE’s head start in the market through its GreenLake brand, Dell will be forced to explore new avenues for differentiation with Project APEX, and this could largely come down to Dell’s still unique five-year go-to-market agreement with VMware and any potential influence from Dell Technologies CEO and Chairman Michael Dell, who will remain VMware’s chairman of the board post-spinoff.

Apart from the near-term impacts and challenges in the competitive landscape, the spinoff is best viewed in opportunities. Following the sale of RSA and current speculation regarding Secureworks (Nasdaq: SCWX), Dell has recently focused on shedding underperforming brands to become a leaner organization. TBR suspects the spinoff of VMware, along with potential sale of integration PaaS (iPaaS) subsidiary Dell Boomi, will present an opportunity for Dell to streamline its operating structure and support the large investment it made in legacy EMC.

Additionally, TBR believes Dell has in many ways backed the innovative concepts and ideas that have emerged from VMware, namely intrinsic security, but have not been fully executed. As such, this spinoff could help Dell become more selective in which markets it wants to innovate and truly scale in, which may include enabling enterprise hybrid cloud, edge computing and data management. TBR expects Dell will turn to its partner network as an immediate avenue for growth, yet as the company more aggressively pursues new growth areas, tuck-in acquisitions that complement the EMC software cannot be ruled out and, down the road, could be essential to competing on par with peers.

Corporate structure does impact performance

In theory, the ownership structure and model of firms do not impact their business model, but in practice they sure do. The evolving case of Dell and VMware is one of the most — if not the most — complicated in the history of the IT market. VMware has grown accustomed to operating under a complex and dependent ownership structure; the firm has not been fully independent since EMC acquired it in 2004 for $635 million.

Since that time, VMware has been an embedded gem within both EMC and Dell, driving growth and profitability well above the traditional hardware segments that made up the majority of both firms. VMware’s consistent performance over the past 15 years is driving this latest change in ownership structure, with VMware set to be spun out of Dell and have its most independent ownership structure since 2004. For VMware, the change is all positive, giving the firm a single-minded clarity to operate in its own best interest, without the weight of supporting the corporate performance of either EMC or, more recently, Dell

Hybrid-influenced vendors respond to customer demands, including limited vendor lock-in and seamless, secure integrations

Hybrid-influenced vendors sit in a high-growth market as they rely on proprietary infrastructure to architect in-demand hybrid solutions. Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is separating itself from much of the market as many enterprises use Office 365 in a hybrid environment and as the vendor wins legacy VMware (NYSE: VMW), Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) and SAP (NYSE: SAP) workloads. Among vendors competing for legacy workloads, TBR expects Amazon Web Services’ hybrid-influenced revenue will continue to grow as the vendor strongly competes against Microsoft for the enterprise migrations.

TBR’s Hybrid Benchmark helps providers of hybrid environments and their partners align to growing opportunity, highlighting the market size of hybrid-influenced public cloud, hosted private cloud and traditional software; the go-to-market strategies vendors are using to drive revenue in the hybrid IT space; gaps in the current ecosystems for enterprises; how vendors are addressing customers’ integration challenges; and more.

Oracle sheds bright red branding but maintains database narrative and competitor assault at OpenWorld

A rebranded Oracle aims to improve interactions with customers and partners, but not AWS

At Oracle OpenWorld, the similarities between the renovations to the venue and to Oracle’s brand were undeniable. The Moscone Conference Center, which has been home to Oracle’s annual event for years, underwent remodeling to improve traffic flow and implement modernizations that Oracle used to showcase its own updated user flow and look. Underneath these branding and operational changes, much of the core building blocks remained the same, with some expansions and evolutions.

A new Oracle: Rebranding and partnerships

The most obvious updates came in the form of the company’s new Redwood brand identity, which consists of a more diverse color palette, including an updated shade of Oracle Red, as well as customized Oracle font, textures, illustrations and other visual elements. The intent of the design element changes was to portray a more modern, diverse and ultimately repositioned Oracle experience. The key phrase Oracle employees used to summarize this shift was “more human,” with clear acknowledgement of not only the long-standing negative perception around the Oracle customer experience but also the many operational changes being made behind the visual rebrand to support a change in engagement. Core to this shift are the new Oracle mission statement and an even greater focus on customer successes stories to frame Oracle’s new approach. These stories were most evident in the solution keynotes and marketing investments, such as advertisement takeovers on The Wall Street Journal and Forbes websites, among other mediums.

Arguably part of this rebrand, and definitely part of the change in how Oracle is engaging across the customer and partner landscapes, was the emphasis with which Oracle announced deeper engagements with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), VMware (NYSE: VMW) and the ISV ecosystem as a whole.

  1. Oracle highlighted its June partnership with Microsoft to enable multicloud deployments across both vendors’ cloud services through data-center-specific direct connections. This service was originally made available in Virginia, and availability in London was announced at the conference. The pair intends to further extend these capabilities to U.S. government regions in the Western U.S. as well as in Asia and other European regions in the future. As Oracle workloads had been certified to run on Microsoft Azure in 2014, this expansion enables customers to leverage Azure services while utilizing Oracle’s Autonomous Database. The companies also announced integrations between Microsoft Teams and the new Oracle Digital Assistant, which was developed to support user interaction with business systems that use different language than what is typical for consumer assistants.
  • Additionally, Oracle announced it has partnered with VMware to bring VMware Cloud Foundation to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), similar to VMware’s partnerships with Amazon Web Services (AWS; Nasdaq: AMZN) and Microsoft Azure, enabling customers to run VMware-based workloads on its bare metal instances. Oracle CTO and Chief Executive Larry Ellison argued the company’s alliance with VMware will enable a truer “lift and shift” of VMware-based workloads from on-premises to OCI with “virtually no change” when the solution becomes available in 4Q19 due to its configuration of bare metal services. The pair also announced unified support for workloads running VMware and Oracle technology together.
  • To better support the ISV ecosystem, Oracle announced the immediate availability of unified billing on the Oracle Cloud Marketplace. This addition of a “paid listing” classification goes beyond free listings and Bring Your Own License (BYOL) listings, where the OCI resources were paid separately from free or licensed software, enabling customers to pay for third-party solutions in per-hour increments and using Oracle universal credits. Beyond simplifying customer solutions purchasing, OCI deployment and complete workload billing, enabling the use of Oracle’s universal credits to pay for third-party software positions Oracle’s sales efforts and quotas to support the growing ISV ecosystem.

Additionally, Oracle and Deloitte announced a new alliance at the conference by launching ELEVATE. The alliance will work to execute the goals of Oracle’s consulting business to automate cloud migrations to Oracle Autonomous Databases and OCI through Oracle Soar, Destination PaaS and IaaS. By leveraging Deloitte’s professional services organization and its cloud discovery and automation platform, Oracle will expedite and smooth migrations to protect, and presumably expand, its existing customer base as customers migrate more critical enterprise workloads to cloud environments.

Canonical doubles down on multicloud in defense of its strategic position against Red Hat and VMware

TBR perspective

At Canonical’s 2019 Analyst Day, the company displayed a compelling business model and a clear road map toward achieving its desired business outcomes. However, TBR believes the long strategic strides Canonical has taken over the past year have only propelled the company so far due to the increasingly competitive field that Red Hat and VMware (NYSE: VMware) are creating. It has been just over two months since IBM (NYSE: IBM) completed its purchase of Red Hat, so it was not a surprise that Canonical emphasized the competitive landscape IBM has shifted with its $34 billion purchase. Even less surprising was Canonical’s dive into specific areas, including public cloud and data center, where it expects to sidestep its two biggest competitors, Red Hat and VMware, both of which Canonical is also most often compared to within the market.  

Navigating a competitive landscape

While Canonical boasts that its multicloud strategy is unique, the vendor’s approach to multicloud aligns with that of major public cloud providers as Canonical aims to run Kubernetes on its Linux-based operating system (OS), Ubuntu, to solidify its place at the interoperability layer. In his opening remarks, Shuttleworth alluded to the fact that open infrastructure is just beginning and that the pending explosion of open source will occur at the applications layer; on top of that, Canonical claims PaaS will not account for more than 10% of applications. TBR believes Shuttleworth’s comments take direct aim at VMware Cloud Foundry and the fact that VMware does not own any applications. However, while Canonical boasts that its approach goes beyond infrastructure with its Linux app store, VMware is close behind given its recent acquisition of Bitnami, which specializes in application packaging, supporting VMware’s application ecosystem strategy.

As one of the few remaining OpenStack providers, Canonical has positioned its proprietary OpenStack offering, BootStack, to still be very much part of the company’s value proposition while other vendors like IBM, Rackspace and Mirantis are de-emphasizing the technology. As part of its private cloud strategy, Canonical maintains support for OpenStack private clouds on Ubuntu, whereas in public cloud Canonical places Ubuntu on the platforms of partners, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS; Nasdaq: AMZN), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), Google (Nasdaq: GOOGL), Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), Rackspace and IBM. TBR expects IBM will shift its current Ubuntu-based workloads to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) now that its purchase of Red Hat is finalized, resulting in the loss of business for Canonical. Presentation materials also highlighted opportunity around fully managed infrastructure services. TBR notes the managed services opportunity around OpenStack was far more prominent 10 years ago, whereas now the opportunity is around creating a managed services portfolio that emphasizes higher-complexity workloads as well as IoT. Canonical noted it is not attempting to build a managed services empire, yet further development in this area presents an uphill battle for the company, especially as IaaS leaders AWS, Microsoft and Google make it easier for enterprises to navigate the challenges of a hybrid environment, which in many cases OpenStack cannot serve.

At Canonical’s 2019 Analyst Day, CEO Mark Shuttleworth and other company executives got together with industry analysts to highlight the company’s revamped business strategy, one that emphasizes four competitive battlegrounds including public cloud, data center, edge cluster and IoT. The event featured presentations from Shuttleworth, Finance Director Seb Butter and VP of Public Cloud Christian Reis, among others. The event also incorporated presentations from key partners, including from Atos VP of Cloud Engineering Bob Seddigh and BT Group Chief Architect Neil McRae.

Examine the role of VMware in the HCI market

“‘VMware has been neck and neck with Nutanix as the software HCI market leader,’ said Allan Krans, practice manager and analyst at Technology Business Research, based out of Hampton, N.H.”

Full article

Deloitte’s willingness to go into unorthodox markets supports growth

“Broad-based investments including low-cost resources and platform-based solutions are among the recent examples of Deloitte’s efforts to expand its addressable market, resulting in improving non-management consulting revenue performance,” says Senior Analyst Boz Hristov.

“While Deloitte is far from reaching revenue diversification compared to the likes of Accenture, the firm is making inroads in unorthodox markets such as outsourcing services. To succeed, though, Deloitte will need to showcase pricing flexibility as it deploys new ways of engaging with clients.”

In his recent assessment of Deloitte’s management consulting practice, Boz noted that augmenting legacy services through investments in legal services, as well as technology partnerships with the likes of Google and ServiceNow, will play a critical role in building and solidifying trust with new and existing buyers, especially as the majority of them fall within the Extension stage of Deloitte’s digital transformation initiatives. Teaming consulting and analytics experts with solutions architects as a core go-to-market strategy will likely not differentiate Deloitte much from rivals. However, the firm’s dedicated investments in regions such as Germany, where consulting sales revenue share surpassed that of legacy audit services, will help build the globally integrated, diversified portfolio Deloitte needs to protect its No. 1 position among TBR’s benchmarked vendors.    

Additional assessments publishing this week from our analyst teams

In 1Q19 VMware experienced another healthy quarter of revenue growth, which increased 12.8% to $2.3 billion. Late 2018 acquisitions helped buoy revenue, as did double-digit cloud management bookings and the reported success of CloudHealth in the quarter. — Cassandra Mooshian, Senior Analyst

In its 1Q19 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Cloud report, TBR discusses the company’s modest 2.8% cloud revenue growth, to an estimated $1.9 billion, and how that underscores Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) focus on and commitment to cloud-based hybrid and emerging technologies. HPE GreenLake continues to play a crucial role in HPE’s success, as GreenLake orders grew a reported 39% year-to-year in 1Q19. — Cassandra Mooshian

TBR’s Dell Technologies report deep dives into the performance and strategies of the vendor’s Client Solutions and Infrastructure Solutions groups, while painting the picture of Dell Technologies’ bigger overall strategy. Deeper analysis of some of the announcements that emerged from Dell Technologies World will also be highlighted as well as the ongoing strategic positioning of VMware. — Stephanie Long, Analyst

And sign up now for TBR’s next webinar, Where will hyperconverged infrastructure fit in the modern data center?

Dell Technologies knew what it was doing all along

Dell Technologies’ strategies

Deliver ‘essential infrastructure’

Dell Technologies’ key strategy is to deliver on what it promises: comprehensive and competitive essential infrastructure, specifically, hardware and systems software for PCs, data centers and cloud vendors. Dell Technologies fills in this spectrum with a mantra of “from edge to the core to the cloud,” where edge includes PCs, gateways and near-the-edge data center hardware. By “core,” Dell refers to on-premises data centers. Dell has been investing in R&D and in breaking down internal silos to compete in its core business, with a successful recent track record. For the last two years, part of this strategy included consumption-based pricing to compete with cloud offerings. Dell Technologies’ main competitors, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Lenovo, have similar strategies, including flexible pricing.

‘Better together’ with VMware

The company differs from its competitors in its ownership of VMware, a provider of popular software products that provide an abstraction layer between workloads and hardware, allowing flexibility and efficiency. VMware products run on all vendors’ hardware — a necessity for VMware’s continued presence in the market. Dell Technologies seeks to leverage its relationship with VMware to make it easier for customers to benefit from VMware solutions when they buy them on Dell hardware. This “better together” approach is delicate; “better together” implies “worse apart.” One company spokesperson described Dell Technologies’ approach as offering a combined solution to those who prefer Dell hardware or are indifferent and continuing to offer separate solutions for customers who prefer competitors’ hardware.

With or without Dell hardware, VMware’s solutions are very profitable, and contribute approximately one-third of Dell Technologies’ operating profit. Maintaining VMware’s strong position in both core and cloud markets is critical to Dell’s continued success. For this reason, Dell and VMware must ensure that Dell hardware and VMware cannot be too much better together. VMware also plays a role in Dell’s cloud strategy by playing key roles in the company’s multicloud offering, Dell Technologies Cloud, providing a way to work with multiple clouds, both public and on premises. By providing the ability to move workloads between public and on-premises clouds, Dell makes it easier to bring workloads back on premises, where Dell’s margins are stronger and where, the company claims, customer operating costs are often lower.

Dell Technologies World 2019 was, to a large extent, a celebration of the success of a long-term plan. Dell has emerged from a sequence of going private, shedding many businesses, acquiring a huge federation of related business, and then going public as a healthy, growing company. Despite some continuing challenges, Dell Technologies has largely achieved the goals of an ambitious plan to become the dominant provider of “essential infrastructure,” which includes computer hardware, systems software and supporting services “from the edge to the core to the cloud,” including PCs, cloud hardware and data centers.

Booz Allen Hamilton keeps winning, even when the government shuts down

TBR’s initial response to Booz Allen Hamilton’s (BAH’s) 1Q19 earnings published on Tuesday, and we expect another strong quarter from BAH to close out its FY19. BAH boasts a soundly differentiated market position and multilayered alignment of its technology and advisory portfolio with the primary objectives of its federal customers. Consulting-led offerings are increasingly interwoven with an innovative technical capacity designed to enable federal clients to meet operational challenges and security threats ever-increasing in sophistication and volume. BAH even emerged from the recent 35-day temporary government shutdown with minimal fiscal damage, further illustrating the resiliency of its solutions model and fueling its confidence about 2020. We further expect the company will issue strong guidance for its upcoming fiscal 2020, with revenue growth in the high single digits and margin performance sustained at current levels.

Read more of Senior Analyst John Caucis’ assessment of federal IT services vendors through the quarter and the upcoming quarterly benchmark.

Additional assessments publishing this week from our analyst teams

Tuesday

  • In our 1Q19 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Cloud Initial Response, we discuss how the company’s margin improvements resulted from a more software-defined portfolio and improved operating efficiency as the HPE Next initiative enters its final year. — Cassandra Mooshian, Senior Analyst

Wednesday

  • Cost-cutting initiatives including headcount reduction and deeper integration of digital sales and customer service channels enabled Sprint to reduce $1.2 billion in gross operating costs in FY18, but this was largely offset by reinvestments in network and other operational initiatives. Sprint’s financial position will remain challenged long term due to its high debt load and struggle to generate positive net income and free cash flow, highlighting why the T-Mobile merger is in the best interest of the company. — Steve Vachon, Analyst

Thursday

  • Now with its third CEO in two years, Rackspace rebrands Fanatical Support to Fanatical Experience as it commits to providing ‘unbiased expertise’ and a more total support system.      — Cassandra Mooshian, Senior Analyst

Friday

  • We expect VMware to report another quarter of strong, above-average growth in comparison to its software peers. Ongoing portfolio investments, partnerships and tuck-in acquisitions position the company for continued customer attraction and retention. — Cassandra Mooshian, Senior Analyst
  • Portfolio and talent developments equip HCL Technologies (HCLT) to sustain revenue growth through 2021. HCLT needs to quickly scale its investments and market presence to solidify growth. Kelly Lesiczka, Analyst
  • Despite enhanced efficiencies in traditional IT operations, T-Systems could not offset pressures on profitability from reorganization and adoption of IFRS 16. Expanding its portfolio in growth segments will enable T-Systems to benefit from a more flexible business model to adapt to and address client demands. Kelly Lesiczka, Analyst

And if you missed the May 22 webinar, Bringing the best: Talent and technology in management consulting, check out the replay here.