GFT pushes into industrial IoT by acquiring Axoom’s team

GFT Technologies SE announced the acquisition of around 90 industrial IoT experts from Axoom – a good reason to take a closer look at what is currently going on at GFT, and to understand their approach to entering the industrial space.

In short, GFT is an international IT service provider for the financial services industry, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. In 2018, GFT reported revenues of more than EUR 400 million (-1% year-on-year). The company has almost 5,000 employees and nearshore delivery capabilities in 13 countries. GFT’s client structure is highly centralized, with two main clients, Deutsche Bank and Barclays. GFT’s strategy is to overcome this structure by diversifying into new sectors, and the industrial space is at the top of their agenda in this respect.

In 2018 and 2019, we observed several steps taken by GFT that pointed into this direction. First of all, in April 2018, a strategic partnership with Software AG, which gives GFT access to the Cumulocity IoT platform. Then, in November 2018, they announced the appointment of Dr. Michael Hecker (previous partner at MHP) as managing director of GFT’s industry business. As GFT’s industry business grew by 40% in 2018, and hiring industry experts in Germany is a “mission impossible” (the market is empty), the search for an acquisition target was a logical next step. The acquisition of the Axoom team at the beginning of July 2019 was an excellent move by GFT to enable further growth in the industrial space, even though the Axoom brand and the Axoom IoT platform still belong to Trumpf. This step enlarges GFT’s industry team from 30 to 120 people and gives GFT access to the existing Axoom client base. In addition, GFT gains access to another IoT platform besides Cumulocity and gets the related developer skills on board, while deepening its relationship with Trumpf. And this was not even the last step; some days later, GFT announced another strategic partnership with in-GmbH, which gives them access to a third IoT platform, sphinx open online.

All these steps taken together make it clear that GFT is fully committed to entering the manufacturing sector. They are ready now to build assets for their industrial clients and will enter the market on a much broader scale. A new relevant player is born – welcome GFT to the world of industrial IoT!