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Capgemini To Buy 300-Person Salesforce Superstar To Fortify E-Commerce Muscle

Purchasing Lyons Consulting Group will enable Capgemini to make a huge play in retail, hospitality and branded consumer products due to its capabilities around Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

Capgemini plans to purchase a Salesforce Commerce Cloud champion with experience boosting the digital strategy of retail powerhouses such as GoPro, Titleist and Timex.

Paris-based Capgemini, No. 6 on the 2017 CRN Solution Provider 500, said its proposed acquisition of Chicago-based Lyons Consulting Group will better enable Capgemini to meet the digital customer experience needs of its global customers. Lyons was recognized by Salesforce as a 2017 Commerce Cloud Partner of the Year for embracing best practices for quality implementation and support services.

Terms of the deal, which Capgemini said is expected to close in the weeks to come, were not disclosed.

"Our interaction with clients is all about bringing together both emerging digital and traditional operations in a way that's connected better than anybody else," John Mullen, Capgemini's head of application services in North America, told CRN." Lyons CG stood out from the rest of our potential targets with its ability to connect digital with the sustaining operational advantage and technical advantage."

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Design shops are usually more about the pure creative rather than the rigor of delivery, but Mullen said Lyons also has rigorous methodology, repeatability and quality assurance from an operations standpoint thanks to strong cognitive program managers and client engagement leads.

Purchasing Lyons will enable Capgemini to make a huge play in the retail, hospitality and branded consumer products spaces thanks to its digital capabilities around commerce and marketing, according to Mullen. There is minimal customer overlap between Capgemini and Lyons, Mullen said, and the two companies don't have any services in competition with one another as it relates to shared customers.

Lyons's expertise in Salesforce Commerce Cloud aligns perfectly with Capgemini's existing strength in Salesforce Service Cloud and other Salesforce Clouds, Mullen said. Lyons employs more than 300 people across North America and the United Kingdom, according to Capgemini, making it one of the largest independent digital commerce firms.

"Joining the Capgemini family will enable us to strengthen and expand our services for clients around the world," Rich Lyons, co-founder and CEO of Lyons, said in a statement. "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."

Existing Lyons customers will benefit from access to Capgemini's entire suite of retail solutions, which Mullen said encompasses digital operations, merchandising and supply chain. These customers can also tap into application management and application development capabilities housed in Capgemini's enterprise practice, according to Mullen.

Lyons was founded in 2003, and has strong capabilities across digital strategy, experience design and e-commerce implementation. Other retail and B2B brands the company works with include Charlotte Russe, Vince and Bayou Steel.

Other leading practice areas for Lyons include SAP Hybris and Magento. Capgemini currently derives 35 percent of its revenue from digital and cloud services, and said the Lyons deal will enhance its leadership position in digital customer experience and digital commerce for customers' journeys.

The Lyons deal builds on Capgemini's March 2017 acquisition of European Salesforce Commerce Cloud dynamo Itelios, as well as its January 2016 purchase of European Salesforce specialist Oinio. The combination of Lyons and Itelios will make Capgemini the top global Salesforce Commerce Cloud partner as it relates to delivery, according to Mullen.

Acquiring Lyons should also accelerate Capgemini's abilities around Salesforce Marketing Cloud, which Mullen said is a critical element in driving Capgemini's relationship with Salesforce. Lyons has completed 316 Salesforce projects, and has 106 certified Salesforce resources, according to Salesforce.

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