I have just come back from our own Business Technology Forum
in Chicago where my colleagues presented about the concept of “lean production”
to an audience of application development and business process professionals:
how the IT industry, including enterprise IT, must now finally address and
improve its R&D and production processes, just as other industries have
Compuware announces this morning their intention to purchase Gomez, one of the two major forces in web application monitoring services (the other one being Keynote). This is a very interesting and potentially game changing move in both the end user experience monitoring and the application performance management (APM) markets.
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 $6.3B IT services company provider
of business process outsourcing (BPO), though it also offers system integration
and IT infrastructure outsourcing (BPO services represent 79% of the company’s
business). The company has exhibited decent
top-line growth in the last two fiscal years (5.9% and 6.7%, respectively), though
its BPO services performed better (7.4% in 2009, 10.9% in 2008). Xerox will no
doubt benefit from ACSs focus on two hot markets right now: healthcare and
Three quarters into 2009, and it seems that the market share of the four megavendors in IT management software (BMC, CA, HP and IBM) has again seriously eroded against their smaller competitors. The global ITMS market itself did not shrink: smaller vendors are reporting better results than forecast.
One major reason for this turn of events is that enterprises are struggling with smaller or flat IT budgets, and are therefore looking for a bigger bang for their buck, both in terms of CAPEX and OPEX: deals are smaller, more tactical in nature and tend to favor point solutions again.
But why is it that the larger ITMS vendors cannot compete with the smaller ones in tactical solutions?
with some of my Forrester analyst colleagues earlier today I listened into the
conference call hosted by executives of both - Dell and Perot Systems - to explain the rationale behind Dell's
announcement to buy Perot for US$ 3.9 billion cash. There has been some
speculation lately about Dell possibly making such a move, but the timing and
the target they finally picked came as a bit of a surprise to everyone. The speculation was rooted in some of the statements made by Steve
Schuckenbrock, President of Large Enterprise and Services at Dell, earlier this
year where he pronounced that Dell would get much more serious around the
services business. Now, you would of course expect nothing less from someone
like Steve - after all he has spend much of his professional career prior to
Dell as a top executive in the services industry (with EDS and The Feld Group).
To this end Steve and his team finally delivered on the expectation, even more
so as this had not been the first time that Dell promised a stronger emphasis on
I recently attended a CSC analyst event in which they described several of the wins and initiatives that they have experienced over the past year.Like many services companies Forrester speaks with, the company is taking a heavy vertical (industry-specific) market strategy and positioning itself in hot markets related to government spending, healthcare, and energy.
I had an interesting briefing with L. Ravichandran, the Executive Vice President and COO of Tech Mahindra this week.This was quite a nice briefing to have from the company, given the dramatic changes that have taken place over the last year.In January, Forrester analyst Sudin Apte and I wrote about the drastic consequences of the accounting fraud at Satyam (“What the Events at Satyam Mean For Service Providers”). Sudin has continued to write about the subject with great research that would interest virtually anyone in the IT services industry (clients and tech professionals) on Forrester.com.
A long time ago (about 35 years), I was the project leader and main designer of what was probably the first true distributed solution. It started with one of the largest bank in Europe, which went through a one month strike of its data center. In what was probably the Jurassic period of IT (which makes me a dinosaur), the centralized mainframe reigned supreme and of course the whole commercial part of the bank ground to a halt, and with it millions of customers who could not get to their money.. The CIO (the title did not exist at the time, but the function did) came up with the brilliant idea of putting a server in each branch, connected to the central mainframe through a network. Each local server had to be able to process locally, on a local "database" all the typical operations of the branch. This would guarantee that, in case of a repeat strike, the basic banking needs of customers would be covered. So armed with the latest minicomputer from Honeywell and several $Millions in project money, we set up developing everything in sight: network protocols, transactional languages and supervisors, local file structure, etc. Even intelligent virtual terminals.