Infosys acquires Salesforce cloud consultancy Fluido

27 September 2018 Consultancy.uk

Fluido, a Salesforce cloud consulting, implementation and training partner with reach across Europe, has been acquired by global professional services firm Infosys. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, however a regulatory filing revealed it had a $76 million price tag attached.

Salesforce is a leading CRM software and enterprise cloud ecosystem. The Salesforce Customer Success Platform is aimed at aiding businesses to grow into a more streamlined, effective and efficient organisation across sales, service and marketing.

Similar to all other major software vendors, Salesforce has a partner ecosystem in place in which it works, together with consulting firms, technology firms and other experts, to support its clients with Salesforce implementations. Partners also play a crucial role in Salesforce’s innovation plans, as they, leveraging their on-ground experience in using the system coupled with their expertise can come with all kinds of improvements to functionality and processes.

Global technology services and IT consultancy Infosys is a Platinum Partner of Salesforce, and has been looking to enhance its position as one of the market’s leading firms. Already commanding revenues of $2.8 billion for the quarter ending after June 2018, having risen 6.8% from the corresponding quarter in 2017, the firm has sought to further boost its potential turnover by purchasing pan-European cloud consultancy Fluido, in a deal expected to close during the third quarter of the 2019 fiscal year.

Infosys acquires Salesforce cloud consultancy Fluido

Fluido is also a Platinum Consulting Partner for Salesforce across the continent, as well as being an Authorised Salesforce Training Delivery Partner in the Nordics. The firm company has offices in Finland, Denmark, Sweden,Norway and Slovakia, where it typically supports customers in the manufacturing, energy, retail and telecommunications sectors. As of March 2018, Fluido boasted a team of roughly 200 Salesforce experts working toward those ends, however this figure has most likely risen following Fluido’s own acquisition of Softhouse Nordic AB’s Salesforce consulting business. Fluido will hope that the added clout of Infosys’ global resources will help it to further build a world-wide profile.

Fluido Founder and CEO Kai Mäkelä said of the deal, “With digital experience playing a key role in customer success, we are excited to have the opportunity to work with Infosys to help Fluido customers change the way they connect with their customers. Both the scale and breadth of the Infosys portfolio of offerings, broad industry expertise and enterprise cloud adoption is an exciting opportunity for Fluido customers, and our people.”

In a statement to the press, Infosys President Ravi Kumar added, “This acquisition demonstrates Infosys’ commitment to the Salesforce ecosystem to address our client’s digital priorities. Fluido will be an important addition to the Infosys family, bringing a unique combination of market presence, deep Salesforce expertise, agile delivery and training that combined with our existing capabilities will help companies reimagine and transform their businesses. This acquisition also aligns to our efforts to invest in local capabilities in the regions in which we operate.”

The acquisition is the latest in a succession of purchases by the Indian IT giant. Most recently, this saw Infosys buy London-based product design and customer experience outfit Brilliant Basics. The move was part of a plan by Infosys to build a worldwide connected network of 'digital studios' that can help clients in industries such as financial services and retail prepare for the digital age.

Elsewhere, rival IT firm Cognizant recently made another new addition to its firm, with the acquisition of SaaSfocus. The firm’s acquisition was targeted at bolstering Cognizant’s SaaS and Salesforce offerings, as the it bids to expand its client base in the sector.

Related: Accenture, Cognizant, Brickendon and Infosys recognised for DevOps skills.

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How a change toolkit can help consultants deliver transformation

23 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Changefirst is a company that provides a cloud-based transformational change toolkit to consultants and companies. David Miller, Founder of Changefirst, sat with Consultancy.uk to discuss how the toolkit known as ‘Roadmap Pro’ adds value to consultants. 

When David Miller called time on his 15-year career with American Express to found Changefirst in 1995, change management was a different animal altogether. According to Miller, even as recently as five years ago, the business of change was much more manageable. The pace of change was slower and project timescales were longer.

Since then, however, the accelerating pace of change and the widespread impact of digital transformation has completely transformed the role of change management professionals. Those working in change management now face more projects, with diversified end-goals, new ways of working (e.g. agile), and are left with shorter timescales to deliver them. The drastic alteration in the sector prompted the IT and services company based in West Sussex to develop a new SaaS-based toolkit for implementing change more effectively.

An example of this is that Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based services in the HR technology space have been steadily increasing in recent years, as companies explore ways in which to reduce costs and access new innovation in the space. SaaS can reduce the cost of ownership, an HR department’s dependence on IT support, improve employee experience, and increase the speed at which value is yielded by change.

How a change toolkit can help consultants deliver transformation

Speaking to Consultancy.uk, Miller explained, “The pressure from digital transformation and the race to reinvent business processes means that the sheer pace and volume of change projects can be overwhelming and chaotic. Organisations needed a whole new way to respond to the challenge – one that is quick and easy to use and supported collaborative working; one that is online and can rapidly scale across the organisation itself. We saw these trends emerging and they were the inspiration for developing the Roadmap Pro tool as a SaaS-based approach to implementing change projects.”

Consulting sector

The SaaS toolkit provided by Changefirst, named Roadmap Pro, has the potential to yield value for consulting industry incumbents, as they are so often drafted in by clients to oversee complex change programs. However, firms might still be skeptical of the need for an external tool to do something that in essence is already part of their core business, and something they theoretically know inside out.

When asked how Changefirst believes it can make inroads into the consulting sector, Miller noted that not all consulting firms have the same level of change management capabilities. Indeed, the toolkit is designed to be tailored to firms, depending on their level of know-how.

“Our solution can help and how consultants choose to use it is likely to differ based on the change management maturity of their firm," Miller explained. "The more capable firms can utilise Roadmap Pro to increase productivity, improve client delivery, consistency and to rapidly on-board new hires and contractors. Less capable firms also might want all these benefits too, but it's highly likely they also want the ability to rapidly increase their client-facing change management capabilities.”

The toolkit is an ‘Out-of-the-Box’ solution, supported by Changefirst’s service offering, which enables clients to deliver higher time-to-value returns compared to other approaches. It is mostly configurable, and the ability to customise it is increasing during 2019, with Changefirst working with new clients to make changes that ensure the software meshes with their clients' implementation methods, while giving them the advantages of the installed content. The system takes the best practice content the firm has built up since it first launched, and makes it available in a state-of-the art, SaaS-based software solution.

“We’ve spent 25 years building our ‘best practice’ model," Miller added. "We have a huge database, that we are able to query, and that tells us a lot about what is happening during change projects. We continuously synthesise that with the lessons we have learned from working with over 300 organisations around the world. This has enabled us to build a methodology which was described by Forrester Research as one of the three most used change management methodologies in the world.”

“We’ve spent 25 years building our ‘best practice’ model... We continuously synthesise that with the lessons we have learned from working with over 300 organisations around the world.”
– David Miller, Changefirst

Roadmap Pro uses this wealth of experience for three key building blocks, which integrate these capabilities: effective online learning; change management diagnostics and analytics; and pre-populated change management planning. It also creates high levels of client engagement, enabling consultants to easily collaborate with clients.

Feedback

There have been some fears in the consulting sector that the leveraging of technology could risk the cannibalisation of hourly work. However, Miller regards this more as an opportunity than a problem.

He argued, “If you look at all the reporting from the analyst community, it’s becoming clear that clients want more digital support and what is called 'Reusable Assets'. In other words, they want IP that consultants have used left behind so they can continue to use it. Consultants now have a big opportunity to create continuous revenue streams and client ‘stickiness’ by using digital tools on assignments and then letting clients continue to use their tools. These firms will also sell more hours and generate more opportunities by on-selling and supporting clients' use of the tool.”

Indeed, the benefits seem to have already been judged to outweigh the perceived risks. Roadmap Pro was only launched in early 2018, but Changefirst’s partners are already using it to deliver a variety of major projects. These include usage in a major real estate change for a European media company; in the outsourcing global IT services for a Brazilian manufacturing company; for implementing a new global HR business model for a European chemical company; and for implementing industry changing technologies for both infrastructure and for new ways of working in a major transportation organisation.

According to Miller, clients have already presented the toolkit with “tremendous” feedback. The interface and the marriage of content and software have drawn particular praise, but Miller concluded that the bigger picture here is that Roadmap Pro can help the firms looking to challenge the Big Four. Indeed, with many firms looking to leverage technology to increase their competitiveness and digital presence, technology like Roadmap Pro is undoubtedly playing a role in seeing such companies win more of the bids against larger organisations around the world.