Here's Who Made Gartner's Magic Quadrant For IT Services For CSPs


Channel Partners Leading The Way

Solution provider powerhouses like Accenture, Cognizant, Capgemini, TCS and Wipro are the driving force enabling digital transformation for Communications Service Providers by providing a variety of CSP-focused services. These top global channel partners are paving the way for CSPs to create new end-user offerings and transform their customer, revenue and service management, according to Gartner's 2018 Magic Quadrant for IT Services For Communications Service Providers Worldwide.

CSP's main focus has shifted to digital services and providers are seeking advice and best practices beyond traditional telecom boundaries. Channel partners are optimizing and implementing improved management for CSPs around monitoring, billing, provisioning automation and partner management. All of the companies in Gartner's Magic Quadrant research report have significant capabilities in multi-vendor IT services for CSPs.

IT Services For CSPs Research Methodology

To make Gartner's Magic Quadrant, companies must have a minimum of $150 million in IT services for CSPs, active CSP clients across three or more major regions and offer end-to-end multivendor services such as consulting, implementation and managed services. Gartner excluded companies that supply almost exclusively single-vendor services and make most of their CSP service revenue in one or two regions.

Gartner's Magic Quadrant ranks vendors on their ability to execute and completeness of vision and places them in four categories: Niche Players (low on vision and execution), Visionaries (good vision but low execution), Challengers (good execution but low vision) and Leaders (excelling in both vision and execution).

Here are the 12 vendors that made Gartner's 2018 IT Services for Communications Service Providers Magic Quadrant Worldwide, along with assessments of each company's strengths and weaknesses in the space.

Leader: Accenture

CSP Services Revenue Breakdown : 40% Consulting, 40% Implementation, 20% Managed Services

CSP Services Main Geographies : 50% Americas, 40% Europe

Accenture, ranked No. 2 on CRN's 2018 Solution Provider 500 list, was the leader in both execution and vision on the Magic Quadrant. The Dublin-based company, with U.S. headquarters in Chicago, is the overall market leader for CSP digital transformation-related services that include delivering best practices, improving consumer customer impact and "understanding the big picture," said Gartner. Accenture combines transformation capabilities with a deep understanding of telecom technology, particularly operational support systems. The company beefed up its financial services business this month by acquiring financial service firm TargetST8 Consulting – just one of at least 10 acquisitions made this year from Accenture.

In terms of weaknesses, Gartner said above-average pricing remains the biggest reason why CSPs disqualify Accenture as a potential supplier. Additionally, the company's digital transformation experience and investment are heavily weighted on CSP consumer customers compared to enterprise customers.

Leader: IBM

CSP Services Revenue Breakdown : 55% Managed Services, 30% Implementation, 15% Consulting

CSP Services Main Geographies: Evenly Split

IBM, owner of IBM Global Services -- ranked No.1 on CRN's 2018 SP500 list – placed third in execution and fourth in vision on the Magic Quadrant. The Armonk, N.Y.-based company combines deep operational support system with integrated revenue and customer management (IRCM) to provide digital transformation at scale. IBM is continuing to invest in a broad set of cloud offerings with a strong ecosystem pull around artificial intelligence and Watson, where the vendor is growing CSP-related proof points.

In terms of weaknesses, IBM receives below-average long-term customer feedback in regards to continuous improvement, according to Gartner. The vendor can also struggle with a balance between selling software and services, which adds cost and complexity to governance.

Challenger: Tech Mahindra

CSP Services Revenue Breakdown : Over 60% Managed Services, 30% Implementation, 2% Consulting

CSP Services Main Geographies: 40% North America, 30% Western Europe

The India-based Tech Mahindra ranks No. 2 for execution and among the middle of the pack for vision on the Magic Quadrant. Tech Mahindra is broadening its partnerships and support capabilities around operational support system and network-facing IT requirements. The $4.7 billion company brings telecom best practices and a strong operational support system to CSP clients. Tech Mahindra, who has dozens of branches throughout the U.S., owns a broad library of proof points such as market leading experience in open-source strategy implementation.

In terms of weaknesses, Tech Mahindra is lacking digital consulting and strategy consulting capabilities as well as providing customers with new ways of working such as with DevOps and microservices. "It is not an organization that will push you to think differently," said Gartner.

Challenger: TCS

CSP Services Revenue Breakdown : 50% Implementation, 45% Managed Services, 5% Consulting

CSP Services Main Geographies: 40% Europe, 25% Americas

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) placed fourth in execution and among the middle of the pack for vision on the Magic Quadrant. The India-based company, with U.S. headquarters in New York City, is a cost-effective services provider with CSP customers commending its sales process and flexibility in pricing. TCS's digital transformation services have helped its CSP clients grow their digital revenue, according to Gartner. TCS – ranked No. 3 on CRN's 2018 SP500 list -- takes CSPs' communication services to retail and manufacturing, bringing a SMB-oriented Internet of Things platform with fleet and energy management solutions to CSPs. The company recently unveiled a consumer-focused analytics tool capable of merging customer information across an enterprise into an intelligence dashboard.

In terms of weaknesses, customers reported to Gartner the need to invest in operational management and coaching while working with TCS. Additionally, the company's local delivery capability and independent software vendor ecosystem are not market leading.

Challenger: Amdocs

CSP Services Revenue Breakdown : 58% Managed Services, 40% Implementation, 2% Consulting

CSP Services Main Geographies: 60% North America, 15% Europe

Chesterfield, Mo.-based Amdocs ranks fifth in both execution and vision on the Magic Quadrant. Amdocs brings its telecom best practices and a multi-vendor service portfolio to many of the largest global CSPs. The company is one of the market leaders when it comes to helping "CSPs understand customers better and sell more," said Gartner. Amdocs has positive customer feedback on delivering what it promises, meeting SLAs and delivering value for money. The solution provider invests above the industry average in improved service capabilities that are relevant for CSP business.

In terms of weaknesses, Amdocs charges above-average prices that leads the company to be disqualified as a potential supplier. The company is not a market leader in terms of consulting, with Amdocs's experience in this area "narrow and lacking" around digital business capabilities.

Visionary: Virtusa

CSP Services Revenue Breakdown: 80% Implementation, 10% Consulting, 10% Managed Services

CSP Services Main Geographies: 50% Europe, 25% North America

Virtusa ranks No.2 for vision, trailing only Accenture, and near the bottom of the pack for execution on the Magic Quadrant. The $1 billion Westborough, Mass.-based solution provider focuses on larger CSP businesses, currently serving seven of the top 15 global CSPs. Virtusa has a strong time-to-market implementation focus that has consistently resulted in great customer satisfaction. The company delivers practical digital transformation services. For example, Virtusa "has a good understanding of day-to-day issues and how to start addressing them fast," said Gartner. Virtusa is a market leader visionary when it comes to new digital operational metrics.

In terms of weaknesses, Virtusa has limited operational support system capability and lacks a broad independent software vendor ecosystem which lowers flexibility. Limited CSP mind share impacts the company's ability to diversify into new customers.

Visionary: Wipro

CSP Services Revenue Breakdown: 60% Managed Services, 30% Implementation, 10% Consulting

CSP Services Main Geographies: 30% Europe, 25% Americas

Wipro ranks third for vision and among the middle of the pack for execution on the Magic Quadrant. The $8.4 billion India-based solution provider is emerging as a strong CSP digital transformation services leader in several areas, particularly around managed services for customer impact implementation work for consumer and enterprise businesses. Wipro, who recently sold off its data center services business, is a market leader in building digital value metrics and demonstrating automation proof points. Customer focus, flexibility, responsiveness and ability to adapt and change are some of the positives highlighted by reference customers, according to Gartner.

In terms of weaknesses, the company is not strong in CSP-specific digital consulting and big-picture thinking. Gartner said, "Wipro lacks focus and capability on issues that relate to CSP organizational issues beyond processes and skills."

Niche Player: Infosys

CSP Services Revenue Breakdown: 50% Implementation, 40% Managed Services, 10% Consulting

CSP Services Main Geographies: 45% North America, 30% Asia, 25% Western Europe

India-based Infosys ranks among the middle of the pack for both execution and vision on the Magic Quadrant. Infosys, who recently unveiled plans to acquire Salesforce Platinum partner Fluido, is strong on digital transformation implementation projects that have artificial intelligence and automation at the core. The $10.9 billion company provides local delivery capability in the U.S., including consultative capabilities and cross-selling across different Infosys assets. Gartner said Infosys is a customer-focused service organization that understand clients business issues and "delivers on what it promises."

In terms of weaknesses, the company has limited experience in deep operational support systems and low integrated revenue and customer management (IRCM) capability. Gartner said Infosys received below-average customer feedback on local resources outside of North America.

Niche Player: Capgemini

CSP Services Revenue Breakdown: 40% Implementation, 40% Managed Services, 20% Consulting

CSP Services Main Geographies: 50% Europe, 40% Americas

Capgemini ranks among the middle of the pack for both execution and vision on the Magic Quadrant. The Paris-based company, ranked No. 4 on CRN's 2018 SP500 list, performs well on complex digital customer impact projects and has a strong presence in Tier-1 North American and Western European CSPs. Capgemini maintains close relationships with its client stakeholders, said Gartner. The $14.4 billion solution provider has made a slew of acquisitions over the years including the $4 billion purchase of iGate and nabbing digital marketing consulting firm June 21 earlier this month.

In terms of weaknesses, Capgemini does not have a mature business around new services like managed data and automation. The company also lacks mind share and strong customer references outside of North American and Western European CSPs.

Niche Player: Cognizant

CSP Services Revenue Breakdown: 50% Managed Services, 45% Implementation, 5% Consulting

CSP Services Main Geographies: 60% North America, 20% Western Europe

The $15 billion Teaneck, N.J.-based solution provider ranks in the middle of the pack for execution and near the bottom for vision on the Magic Quadrant. Cognizant, ranked No. 6 on CRN's 2018 SP500 list, has long-term experience in the communications and media industry with a particular focus on delivering value within a combined media and communications organization. Due to this expertise, the company has strong cable CSP-oriented capability and mind share. Cognizant received good customer feedback in regard to service pricing, value for money and ease to work with, according to Gartner. The company has been on a massive acquisition spree in 2018, most recently with its purchase of application developer Softvision.

In terms of weaknesses, the company has limited competencies in operational support system skill, knowledge and investment. Providing specific metrics for its digital transformation services capabilities is a challenge for Cognizant, Gartner said.

Niche Player: Huawei

CSP Services Revenue Breakdown: 85% Implementation, 15% Managed Services, 1% Consulting

CSP Services Main Geographies: 40% Asia; Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Americas 15% each

The China-based communications giant ranks near the bottom for both execution and vision on the Magic Quadrant. Huawei is building experience at scale in China such as its newly opened CSP-dedicated Digital Transformation Practice Center in Hong Kong, allowing clients to get hands-on experience of digital end-user services. The vendor has a strong customer focus which is a main reason why CSP's choose it for IT services. Gartner said Huawei offers an effective sales process and good value for money.

In terms of weaknesses, Huawei's strategy consulting experience is limited and its customer impact offering does not include enterprise end users. Additionally, Gartner said, "Huawei's digital business transformation approach does not consider people, culture and organization-related aspects."

Niche Player: HCL Technologies

CSP Services Revenue Breakdown: 50% Managed Services, 40% Implementation, 10% Consulting

CSP Services Main Geographies: 50% Americas, 30% Europe

India-based HCL Technologies ranks last for both vision and execution on the Magic Quadrant. The $9 billion company is a cost-efficient CSP services provider geared toward digital implementation services around customer impact projects. Gartner said HCL receives good customer feedback for using modern technology such as its artificial intelligence-powered cognitive assistant, HCL DRYiCE Lucy, which the company is training for CSP industrywide use cases.

In terms of weaknesses, HCL's engineering and technology specialist approach limits its ability to have a comprehensive digital transformation vision which also makes it less relevant for broad managed services. The company lacks a strategy to support CSPs needs to address the requirements of target customers in specific vertical industries.