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Thursday, September 22, 2011 by Neil Ward-Dutton
I’ve had some research into the role that systems integrators and consultants play in BPM initiatives as a priority for quite a while now, but most of my interactions until now have been with small specialist firms (the kind of firms that also, until recently, have really made most of the running as value delivery partners on the BPM projects I’e come across). As part of my research, a few months back I got in touch with Capgemini to see if I could find someone to talk to about their BPM work; and I was given three names (one for BPM from a BPO perspective; one for BPM from an application development perspective; and one from a package implementation perspective). QED, I guess!
However it appears that Capgemini has done quite a bit of work on this in the past few months – and last week I finally managed to meet Bob Scott, who now runs Capgemini’s BPM Top Line Initiative worldwide. Top Line Initiatives within Capgemini are identified where a need is seen for an internal ‘accelerator’ (my word) that can place the company to play in high-growth market sectors – and furthermore, where the potential is seen for the company to grow at twice the overall market growth rate. In line with BPM having been identified as a Top Line Intiative, Capgemini is looking to grow its BPM project delivery business 40% per year for the next 4-5 years.
The initiative has only been in place since the start of 2011, but already the company seems to have done some useful groundwork. Scott has created a team that acts as a kind of internal catalyst for BPM business within Capgemini. The core team is small, but it plays a role that’s primarily about influencing direction and investment within individual territories and teams; and also about facilitating the sharing of knowledge about methodologies and project approaches across those territories and teams. Scott’s team is also responsible for the direction of Capgemini’s own BPM technology centre of excellence – based in India – that provides internal services around platforms from Capgemini’s three top-line BPM technology partners: Pegasystems, IBM and Oracle. IT works hand-in-hand with account and business development representatives from across all the main BPM target market territories and sectors to ensure that the company benefits from coordinated action – and also to ensure that new insights gained from the field are brought back to the centre and shared out to others.
What I found particularly encouraging – apart from the use of its ‘Rightshore’ model and resources to deliver back-end services around shared BPM technology practices and reusable components – is Capgemini’s preferred approach to staffing BPM projects going forward.
The company has realised that the traditional body-shopping approach doesn’t work; and it’s also realised that trying to push a significant proportion of project work offshore is also going to be difficult – particularly in the early stages of engagement with a customer. Rather, it aims to create small project teams of between 6 and 12 consultants, working onsite with customers and getting business and technology representatives from the customer’s side collaborating with them as much as possible. It’s aiming to structure projects to deliver results in 3-6 months, and its goal is to build relationships with clients so that it can set up sequences of such projects that overall create engagements that last 2-3 years.
Moreover the company isn’t trying to develop business with customers by just educating them about generalised benefits of BPM. In a parallel with the business development efforts of a lot of BPM technology providers, Capgemini is building specific scenario propositions for its target industries (examples include warranty management for automotive, telecoms order management, multi-channel service delivery for utilities, and public sector case management) and positioning its capabilities in these areas as “powered by BPM”. In this way, it’s able to lead with business pain-points rather than with technology or methodology – but at the same time it’s able to quickly explain how its approach will deliver value to the customer.
When I last posted on this topic a number of commentators were (rightly) quite sceptical about the ability of the larger SI firms to play well in BPM. It’s still early days and the few customer projects we discussed aren’t yet publicly referenceable, but it looks like Capgemini is really taking BPM seriously. I’ll be watching to see how this preparation turns into results over the coming quarters – and I’ll be sure to share anything I find with you.