Capgemini Invent: a new face for digital consulting presents new challenges and opportunities
Capgemini unveiled their new sub-brand this past September, putting some emphasis on their digital consulting capabilities: they have brought together their Consulting, Technological Expertise and Creative Business units and put them under one new roof - Capgemini Invent.
This new sub-brand incorporates Capgemini Consulting, the group’s consulting branch, alongside some of its most notable acquisitions:
- Liquid Hub (acquired in 2018)
- Fahrenheit 212 (acquired in 2016)
- Idean (acquired in 2017)
- Adaptive Lab (acquired in 2018)
- Backelite (acquired in 2011)
This new unit of Capgemini combines the company's "strategic", "technological", "data analytics", and "design" capabilities. This multidisciplinary branch will allow to speed up the process of turning ideas into solutions by leveraging design thinking approaches. Capgemini Invent answers increasing market demand for digital services and know-how.
Indeed, digital customer experience software products and related services enjoy one of the highest market growth. PAC expects a 12% CAGR in Western Europe for 2017-2021, as enterprises are realizing that they need to create and implement digital strategies in order to stay relevant amongst newer, digital native companies. Across the full value chain we see that corporations are digitizing their strategies and operational processes. From IoT and Industry 4.0 to integrating AI into marketing processes, we are seeing definite trends towards enterprises embracing the benefits that come alongside digital technologies and strategies. However, most enterprises aren’t equipped to embark on this journey alone: as digital transformation is a strategy encompassing technologies, people, organization, they need some guidance to do it right.
Capgemini Invent seeks to remedy just this by integrating their years of consulting experience, design capabilities, and technological experience in creating digital solutions and business models. Their union of multidisciplinary capabilities coupled with the resources of the group should allow for scalability and rapid implementation in new projects.
In order to help speed up the start of digital transformation programs, Capgemini Invent is distributed across 6 major practices:
- Innovation and Strategy
- Customer Engagement
- Future of Technology
- Insight Driven Enterprise
- Operations Transformation
- People & Organization
This agglomeration of expertise is an interesting approach, as it enables Capgemini to benefit from synergies and allows them to present a nimble and agile face to customers engaging in a digital transformation program. However, this reform is by no means a "breakthrough" approach as other companies (e.g., Wipro) have been using this method for quite some time (combining several units and using design thinking). Moreover, it raises some questions about whether this is just "on a pro forma basis" or if Capgemini Invent will in reality have a positive effect on the group's bottom line.
A point of interest is whether or not merging several acquisitions into a larger structure is the best approach. We've seen time and time again that acquisitions lose their agility and creative potential once absorbed into large corporations steeped in internal bureaucracy and processes. The alternative path, however, has shown a fair amount of success where acquisitions are supported by large corporations but left to act on their own; a great example of this are Accenture's acquisitions OCTO Technology or Fjord, which have had great success acting independently - as well as in conjunction with Accenture teams - after their acquisition in 2017 and 2013, respectively.
Another question left unanswered today is whether Capgemini Invent will place a stronger focus on developing their vertical expertise. Backelite, one of the acquisitions being integrated into Capgemini Invent, focuses heavily on the financial services industry, enhancing the group's strengths in this sector. With success in generating financial solutions and the development of their customer-centric approach, we expect them to place larger emphasis on gaining expertise in their other vertical sectors. Sector content as well as vertical domain knowledge will be key in Capgemini's growth, and leveraging this will ultimately be vital to their becoming a true global leader.
Finally, as they are rebranding their consulting branch, Capgemini will face a traditional challenge when presenting this new face to the market. Capgemini's Consulting brand has a very strong reputation that precedes it, especially in the European region. Every rebranding comes with a challenge to live up to past brand recognition and an opportunity to reach out to new audiences and recontact dormant leads, and this will be especially evident. Capgemini Invent faces the challenge within the next year to build relationships with clients as well as potential employees.
PAC will be keeping tabs on Capgemini as they undoubtedly draw on their internal know-how, global footprint, strong partnerships, and long-standing expertise to continue their growth on a global level.