BearingPoint: Can continuity and transformation co-exist?

At BearingPoint’s latest analyst summit we learned that continuity and transformation do not necessarily have to exclude each other. Over the past few years, BearingPoint has on the one hand continuously followed its long-term growth strategy, and kept a stable organizational structure and management team. On the other hand, the consulting firm has been gradually transforming its consulting portfolio and methodologies, its innovation process as well as its company culture to adapt to the digital age.

For the last couple of years, BearingPoint has very firmly been following a strategy of complementing and supporting its extensive consulting portfolio with a software product portfolio in selected areas. The idea was to design these portfolios in a way so that they support each other’s growth path. The software solution portfolio, which used to be labeled “Asset Based Consulting”, has consequently been transformed into a software division that will now be called “Solutions”. The focus is on selected growth topics around digital, analytics and compliance (regulations). The new entity has also implemented a different set of sales & marketing, career path and performance models than the ones in the consulting divisions.

At the same time, the development of so-called “Accelerators” continues and 42 new ones have been added to the portfolio. Accelerators can be additional software components, but also tools, templates and methodologies that are reusable and that speed up projects. Examples are an ‘Omni-channel Management Framework’ or an ‘Open Innovation Approach’. Access to these Accelerators has also been simplified for BearingPoint employees and partners with the help of an app-based model. Continuity is also reflected in the stable organizational structure and management team, as well as the development of the strategic partner network over the past few years.

All these factors translate into continuous growth in revenues and strong EBIT. The focus remains on sustainable development and long-term growth, which is illustrated by the step-by-step transformation of both portfolio and organization, as well as by a strong focus on innovation. BearingPoint has set up a highly structured innovation process where each employee (and the partners) can contribute, and where selected ideas are further developed and eventually result in new portfolio elements or Accelerators. This also includes the support of “solution incubators” where such innovative ideas are fostered and spin-offs are supported.

In the area of digital transformation, BearingPoint has chosen an approach that is different from many other service providers’. Rather than creating a separate business unit, BearingPoint has chosen to develop digital transformation as an inherent part of its various business areas and portfolio elements. Digital initiatives are pooled around four major topics: company culture & digital workspace, customer experience, analytics and new business models & ecosystems.

When it comes to supporting new business models & ecosystems, BearingPoint has a strong asset with its multi-tenant digital ecosystem management platform R6 by BearingPoint’s subsidiary, Infonova. This platform is used by customers from various industries and acts as a central platform for a wide range of digital services from different suppliers. The platform today helps deliver services ranging from cloud services through entertainment, telecom services, business services, smart city services, smart utilities services to digital commerce and others. BearingPoint’s major showcase customer is BT, which has implemented the solution for what they call “the cloud of clouds”, using Infonova R6 as platform to provide a multitude of own and third-party cloud services and also offering partners and customers the opportunity to use the platform to market their services portfolios.

Thanks to the multi-tenant approach, the platform supports new business ecosystems and enables the whole concept-to-cash process for services and service bundles provided by a network of multiple suppliers, including direct service provisioning, but also branded or white-labeled wholesaling of services.

All in all, BearingPoint demonstrates that continuity is compatible with the transformation into a company that can help its customers get ready for a disruptive digital world. BearingPoint has all the assets to grow in a changing market environment. However, the performance in recent years also illustrates that strongly growing business areas are necessary to compensate for less well performing legacy business. Reaching the 2020 revenue target of 1 billion will require intense efforts and continuous transformation.