VAR500: Accenture Sales Strong; Cognizant Purchases Zaffera

VAR500 Solution Providers In The News

Accenture released a stellar earnings report Tuesday, citing increased demand for its services. That may be a sign that the economic fog is lifting. Time will tell if a hike in revenue like Accenture's 23 percent rise will be seen by other solution providers.

In other VAR500 news, Cognizant bought software and consulting firm Zaffera; CDW won an award from Microsoft and Atos partnered with the software giant; Fiserv and Kronos announced a banking solution; and Ciber signs a school district deal in its home state of Colorado.

Accenture Sales Soar

Things might be looking up for large IT solution providers, if Accenture’s recent earnings report is any indication. On Tuesday, Accenture reported fourth-quarter revenue increased 23 percent, to $6.7 billion. For the full fiscal year, net revenue was $25.5 billion, an increase of 18 percent. Specifically contributing to the growth was revenue from consulting: At $3.9 billion, this was an increase of 25 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2010. Also, sales were $2.8 billion, an increase of 21 percent. Accenture’s Communications & High Tech operating group saw revenue increase 23 percent to $1.4 billion, up from $1.2 billion for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010.

Cognizant To Buy Software Firm

Cognizant Technology Solutions will buy retail consulting and software firm Zaffera. The $4.6 billion IT solution provider hopes to expand its services to major retailers through the deal. Zaffera provides consulting services and software that helps retailers streamline operations, make customers’ experiences better and improve companies’ response to changing market conditions. Cognizant’s second-quarter profit rose 21 percent, the company reported last month, due to higher demand for its IT services.

Atos Partners With Microsoft

Atos will offer communication and collaboration services built on Microsoft Windows Server and Hyper-V hosted in Atos data centers. The private cloud offerings are aimed at public sector organizations that look for the benefits of Private Cloud, including compliance with national and government data security standards. Atos will include Microsoft cloud technologies in its cloud portfolio, and also use the technology for its internal IT. In early 2012, Atos and Microsoft plan to launch a number of distinctive offerings for customers in the Public Sector in France. Among the benefits Atos is promoting are: compliance with national and government data security standards; hosting in home country; and integrated national and European regulatory compliance.

Fiserv Solution Improves Banks' Efficiency

Fiserv and Kronos are developing an integrated solution to measure workforce performance in real-time alongside core transactional and customer data. The goal is to help banks further enhance operational efficiencies, minimize compliance risk, maximize staffing, and improve customer service. "The role of staff is being redefined in channels, such as the branch, to be more customer-focused and there is increased attention on labor law compliance,’ said Fiserv’s Andrew Steadman, director of product strategy, Bank Solutions, in a statement. ’Those factors are driving the need for precision in staffing and an integrated solution for managing the workforce.’

CDW-G Earns Microsoft Kudos

CDW Government has been recognized as a 2011 Microsoft U.S. Public Sector Partner of the Year. The award honors CDW-G's use and support of Microsoft technology with its higher education and K-12 customers. CDW-G's account managers and solution architects work with K-12 school districts, colleges and universities to tailor technology programs and services to meet each institution's needs. The approach spans discovery and planning, procurement, configuration and deployment of the final solution. In addition, Microsoft recognized CDW as a Volume Licensing Partner of the Year for the second consecutive year.

Ciber Nabs School District Deal

Ciber has signed a $1.3 million deal with Colorado’s Boulder Valley School District. The solution provider will use Lawson Software’s Talent Management Suite to assist in transforming the human capital management and financial systems that support the organization. The district plans to improve employee-certification tracking as well as interoperability with other strategic business functions such as recruiting and teacher contract management.