VAR500 Roundup: Dell Enters The Cloud, Accenture Builds Bookings, And More4:47 PM EST Fri. Mar. 26, 2010
VAR 500 activity is on the rise. Dell is entering the cloud; Accenture is increasing bookings; CBiz is selling business units; and IBM Global Services is recommending a new business model.
Dell announced a suite of cloud professional services to help customers assess, deploy, design and manage dedicated solutions. Dell, which acquired solution provider Perot Systems (2009 VAR500 rank: 51) last fall, plans to launch the deployment at Dell data center. (Dell's services division ranked 24 on the 2009 VAR500.) The target customers are midsize to large customers, accommodating clients with up to 5,000 employees. The Integrated Solution Services will not only deliver cloud lifecycle management, but will also include cloud readiness assessment services, and cloud design, deployment, management and maintenance services. Barton George, Dell's Cloud Computing evangelist blogged about the two ways of getting to the private cloud: Evolutionary and Revolutionary (George's graph is pictured left).
However, some are wondering where this will leave Dell's hardware business, which is under fierce attack by competitors such as Acer.
Accenture (2009 VAR500 rank: 3) is eyeing the next several months with optimism as the IT consultant is experiencing strong bookings as a result of heightened demand for services.
"Our second-quarter results demonstrate that we continue to manage our business very well in a challenging economic environment and that clients value our knowledge, experience and skills, as well as our focus on execution excellence and value delivered," said William D. Green, Accenture's chairman and CEO, said on the company's earnings call on Thursday. Revenues were within our expected range, we delivered solid operating margin and generated significant free cash flow, and our balance sheet remains strong."
New bookings for the quarter were $6.52 billion, with consulting bookings of $3.39 billion and outsourcing bookings of $3.13 billion, bringing total new bookings for the first half of fiscal 2010 to more than $12 billion. Revenue was $5.18 billion, a decrease of 2 percent from the same period last year.
CBiz (VAR 500 rank: 108) has sold two of its information technology business units, and is talking to another company about selling one of its other IT divisions. CBiz reportedly is selling the three businesses in order to focus on its professional services, including accounting, tax and other financial services, employee benefits management and physician practice management.
Earlier in March, CBiz sold the IT consulting division of its CBiz Technologies unit to InterDyn Socius, a Dublin-based consulting firm with a Brecksville office. It also sold its CBiz Network Solutions unit, which sells IT repair services and phone systems to businesses, to IT services firm Thinsolutions of Lakewood (CEO Mike Fischer, left). No terms of the sales were disclosed.
With more than 90 percent of U.S. hospitals still trying to reach the proposed adoption hurdle for computerized physician order entry (CPOE), many are looking to professional services firms to help them meet the challenge. A report from health-care research company, KLAS, "Getting to Stimulus Funding: Which Consultants Can Help?" reviews the clinical implementation, clinical transformation, staff augmentation and advisory services capabilities of more than a dozen professional services firms. The study found that while IBM and CSC enjoyed the lion's share of larger clinical engagements a few years ago, Deloitte (2009 VAR 500 rank: 10) and ACS (2009 VAR 500 rank: 23; president, Lynn Blodgett, pictured left), have now joined CSC as key players. Meanwhile, IBM (2009 VAR 500 rank: 1) participates in significantly fewer projects today, sliding to a smaller number similar to Accenture's (2009 VAR 500 rank: 3). Regarding overall performance when acting as the lead on clinical engagements, ACS, CTG and Deloitte are in a virtual dead heat, scoring a full 10 points above the next closest firm, Accenture. IBM, the top-performing firm in 2006 for large clinical implementations, has dropped significantly, as has CSC, according to the report.
A new report released from IGS (2009 VAR500 rank: 1) describes how a business model based on the past "grow-and-build" philosophy should be replaced by new business models that can assist traditional as well as emerging technologies of energy generation, delivery, storage and use. The report, "Switching perspectives: Creating new business models for a changing world of energy," addresses how government is setting new policies to increase efficiency, conservation and renewable energy generation. "It is time to revisit the business models that drove growth and success for the energy and utility industry the past fifty years. The value drivers will look vastly different in the next decade," said Michael Valocchi (pictured), Global Energy and Utilities Leader for IBM Global Business Services. "In this new environment, utility companies that are willing to re-evaluate their fundamental business models will be better positioned to capitalize on the emerging products, technologies and services available to their consumers."