Capgemini acquires eCommerce provider Lyons Consulting Group

09 October 2017 Consultancy.uk

Global consultancy Capgemini has acquired the Lyons Consulting Group for an undisclosed fee. Following hot on the heels of the firm’s recent purchase of Itelios, a prominent European Salesforce Commerce Cloud solutions provider, the addition is aimed at enabling Capgemini to meet the digital customer experience needs of its international client-base.

Founded in 2003, Lyons Consulting Group is an award-winning digital and global commerce services provider, focused on Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Lyons was most recently named as ‘2017 Salesforce Commerce Cloud Global Delivery Partner of the Year’ for best-in-class client implementations and levels of support, for the consultancy’s work with a number of leading retail and B2B brands such as GoPro, Titleist/FootJoy, Timex, Charlotte Russe, Vince, and Bayou Steel.

Lyons’ capabilities include digital strategy, experience design, and eCommerce implementation, for which it employs over 300 people across North America and the UK, becoming one of the world’s largest independent digital commerce firms. The acquisition by Capgemini sees Lyons significantly accelerate their digitally-focused growth strategy, notably in the North American market, which hosts the world’s largest and most developed consulting industry of the USA. The purchase, for which financial details were not disclosed, also positions the Group as a global leader for Salesforce Commerce Cloud solutions, with Capgemini’s group employing over 190,000 people, and boasting presences in over 40 countries.

Capgemini acquires eCommerce provider Lyons Consulting Group

Rich Lyons, CEO and Co-Founder of Lyons, said of the deal, “Joining the Capgemini family will enable us to strengthen and expand our services for clients around the world. In addition, there is a tremendous opportunity to integrate our capabilities with Capgemini’s holistic approach to digital transformation, and support the many clients who are on this extensive journey right now. We are very excited about this next stage in our company and the many opportunities it presents for both our employees and clients.”

Capgemini, currently celebrating its 50th Anniversary year in 2017, will also aim to bolster its own reputation in the fields of digital customer experience and digital commerce for clients’ customer journeys. Capgemini is currently partnering with a number of the world’s leading brands to define and deliver digital ambition, new business models, and agile operations, and the firm will no doubt hope the addition of Lyons will also enhance their ability to meet those clients’ changing digital needs. Chiefly though, the deal brings Lyons’ Salesforce Commerce Cloud expertise into the fold. Capgemini is a leading partner of Salesforce, an American cloud computing company headquartered in San Francisco, and the transaction will reaffirm their position for delivering tangible business results in the segment.

Paul Hermelin, Chairman and CEO, Capgemini Group remarked, “After the recent acquisition of Itelios in Europe, Capgemini continues to invest to become a prime partner of Salesforce in e-commerce and to keep our clients at the forefront of their marketplace.”

Profile

More news on

×

Accenture's push into the creative sector is an identity crisis

18 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

In its latest push into the creative sector, Accenture Interactive acquired New York and London-based ad agency Droga5 earlier this month, adding illustrious clients such as HBO, Amazon and The New York Times to its roster of clients. With the latest in a long line of similar purchases, Accenture Interactive further demonstrated its ambition of becoming the globe’s leading trusted advisor to chief marketing officers. Yet according to Ben Langdon, Chairman of Class35, Accenture’s strategy may be heading in the wrong direction.

A press release on Accenture’s website announcing the acquisition sits next to a quote stating that “brands aren’t built through advertising” – a huge contradiction from a consultancy firm hell-bent on becoming the ‘CMO agency of choice’. It’s not alone of course. The entire consulting industry wants a piece of the creative pie right now. In addition to Accenture Interactive, recent acquisitions by PwC Digital, IBM iX, and Deloitte Digital meant that in 2017, for the first time ever, four of the world’s ten largest creative agencies were consultancies.

So just what it is that Accenture wants to achieve from this? For one thing, it’s clearly trying to be a digital transformation business. A one-stop creative shop rivalling more traditional models, it wants to lure CMOs in with the promise of lower ad spend and a “more impactful customer experience”. At the same time, though, it’s still in thrall to those same slinky, shiny branding and advertising agencies it’s attempting to disrupt. The Droga5 acquisition and that of Karmarama a few years before are both testament to this.

There’s a fundamental problem with this, though. Digital transformation businesses don’t sell to CMOs. These people have enough on their plates trying to transform their own marketing skills in order to keep up with an ever-changing market – they just don’t have the time or the energy to concern themselves with digitally transforming a whole business. If Accenture’s purpose is digital transformation, then going after creative agencies is barking up the wrong tree.Is Accenture's push into the creative sector an identity crisis?

Worlds apart

Perhaps more importantly, these two industries are worlds apart in terms of the way they think. Creative agencies are all about ideas, campaigns and consumers. Digital businesses, on the other hand, are customer-driven – they think in terms such as lifetime value, measurement, and efficiency. Customer-led thinking is an entirely different beast to consumer-led thinking.

The reality is that the arrival of digital and an all-encompassing obsession with technology, measurement and social has led to the death of agencies in a reductive, zero-sum, efficiency-focused battle with brands. Indeed, agencies have become so obsessed with the latest tech fads, they’re beginning to forget how brands work. Worse still, they’re beginning to forget how brands are built. And, by forgetting, they’re destroying their own values.

Killing creativity

All things considered, it really feels to me as though Accenture is a chip leader in a game it doesn’t understand. Expensive acquisitions like these show that they’ve got the big money, but they don’t appear to have any idea what they’re doing with it. Take talent, for example. The best talent in the creative industry right now is out in the market; it’s not tied to any one agency. Both agencies might well be at the top of their game, but why would a consulting firm waste so much money on buying them when they could hire high-quality creative talent on a contingent basis instead?

As their presence in the top 10 creative agencies shows, there is a growing trend in which Accenture, like many of the other big players, are buying up agencies as if they were nothing more than keywords. What they’re really buying, though, is a collection of credentials, clients and IP. Unfortunately, the talent that created those credentials aren’t going to stay at the business, the clients that hired the agency in the first place won’t be interested in buying what is basically just another part of Accenture, and the IP never really existed to begin with.

Droga5, for example, was one of the few agencies that did great brand work the old-fashioned way – undoubtedly something that made it attractive to Accenture in the first place. The irony, though, is that by leading it further away from the way of working that made it so special, the consulting giant will kill its creativity.

“Accenture Interactive has been dazzled by its ambitions to become the CMO agency of record…. But, in flashing its cash, it is spending millions on acquiring nothing of any value.”

If pressed, the recently acquired agency staff at Accenture will tell you just how dysfunctional the new arrangement is. They’re largely unfulfilled. Rarely do they feel their work has any sort of meaning or purpose. What’s more, the different disciplines have found little or no common ground, and find it hard to work together as a cohesive whole. It’s not surprising, then, to see talented people leaving in droves.

Beyond the window dressing 

It’s clear, then, that consulting firms and creative agencies are no easy bedfellows. But in his company’s defence, Accenture Interactive’s Senior Managing Director for North America, Glen Hartman, described its culture as being “far, far away from what a stereotypical consulting firm would look like. Our office and studios look a lot like Droga5’s.”

In demonstrating a belief that office design equates to workplace culture, this statement serves as an illustration of how confused Accenture is right now. It wants to justify its new strategy so badly, it’s started dressing like a creative agency. But if you look beyond the window dressing and see that you and your partners are speaking a different language with a different purpose, selling to different people in a different market, there’s no getting away from the fact that you’re different.

Accenture Interactive has been dazzled by its ambitions to become the CMO agency of record, and it wants to dazzle others with its new direction. But, in flashing its cash, it is spending millions on acquiring nothing of any value.

Related: Space between consulting firms and creative agencies is converging.