On Monday morning Xerox announced the
planned acquisition of ACS for approximately $6.4 billion. The acquisition will
be a big move for Xerox’s Ursula Burns, who just recently took over as CEO, and
it is indeed a “game-changer” for Xerox. Long known as a manufacturer of office
products such as copiers, Xerox has exhibited strong growth from its Global
Services business unit in recent years even as other parts of the organization
faced increasing levels of commoditization.This acquisition shows that Xerox is now dedicated to a services-driven transformation
of its business.
ACS is a $6.3B IT services company provider
of business process outsourcing (BPO), though it also offers system integration
and IT infrastructure outsourcing (BPO services represent 79% of the company’s
business). The company has exhibited decent
top-line growth in the last two fiscal years (5.9% and 6.7%, respectively), though
its BPO services performed better (7.4% in 2009, 10.9% in 2008). Xerox will no
doubt benefit from ACSs focus on two hot markets right now: healthcare and
Recently I asked for your
comments around some of the key trends in innovation consulting in our first
blog challenge. Thank you all for your feedback -- there were some great,
innovative ideas, which I’ll try to synthesize here. I see these ideas as forming
the start of a value chain of innovation -- that of first understanding the
objective, then the specific process to achieve innovation, and finally the outcome
of the innovation. The key points are:
As the global economy shows signs of coming back to life, so Spring seems to have arrived in the communications garden. The first buds of activity in the sector seems to be the proliferation of partnerships. there partnerships are germinating in many forms, and in all regions of the world. Bharti Cellular and MTN are continuing their merger courtship (which if it succeeds will create the second largest mobile company in the world), and AT&T and IBM are (again) jointly working on go-to-market opportunities in the converged ICT (Information and Communications technology) market.
A couple of weeks ago I finished a review of the key M&A events in the software and services markets in the first half of 2009. In the research we analyzed the M&A, including divestment, activities of about 100 leading software and services providers. Unsurprisingly the volume of M&A deals was not very high, but what was key to our approach was examining the drivers underlying the acquisitions – why were companies making transactions and how would they affect their portfolio and go-to market approaches.
Three quarters into 2009, and it seems that the market share of the four megavendors in IT management software (BMC, CA, HP and IBM) has again seriously eroded against their smaller competitors. The global ITMS market itself did not shrink: smaller vendors are reporting better results than forecast.
One major reason for this turn of events is that enterprises are struggling with smaller or flat IT budgets, and are therefore looking for a bigger bang for their buck, both in terms of CAPEX and OPEX: deals are smaller, more tactical in nature and tend to favor point solutions again.
But why is it that the larger ITMS vendors cannot compete with the smaller ones in tactical solutions?
In this week's Heretech podcast, I spoke with Alex Bender of Archer Technologies about the role the Archer community plays in the development process, all the way through the release. If you click the thumbnail shown below, you'll see their process in graphic detail. While Alex and I didn't get into all the specifics of how they do it, we did cover most of their "social product management" approach in the podcast.
Among other interesting aspects of how they use their community as a resource for innovation and adoption, the role of partners really stands out. Of course, in the governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) space, you have an ecology of partners who are experts in things like Sarbanes-Oxley and risk management best practices. They'll tell you in plenty of detail why your product isn't really doing the job it should as a GRC tool.
This week, our guest is a prime example of "inbound" social media, used to make smarter product decisions. Alex Bender of Archer Technologies describes how their community helps with the entire release cycle, from starting with the generation of good ideas. And whaddaya know, there's another research document, by Yours Truly, about this topic in the Forrester publication queue. Finally, if you're looking for a primer on Lean approaches to development and delivery, look no further than this week's review. Copyright (c) Tom Grant.
Shift happens. How to deal with the consequences?
Attendees at Forrester’s 2009 Security Forum in San Diego, CA September 10 to 11 gained many insights into how to deal, and
how to address the three main shifts in expectations (budgets, staffing,
responsibilities), ownership (tech populism/consumerization, cloud), and
architecture (building a security foundation, compliance). We heard what CISOs