Well, that was one hell of a week for consulting news. Let's be honest, we probably won't see too many more tales of sketchy transatlantic love (business) affairs or off-with-his-head anti-McKinsey rants in the months to come—but don't worry, we'll have enough on those two curiosities to soak your brain in all things consulting news for another decade or two. In the interim, it's back to the standard stuff. Welcome home.
Capgemini generated headlines late last week when it announced that it would be following a new "major strategic focus" from here on out. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Digital Transformation! I know what you're thinking: Does this mean that the Capgemini brass has exited the business world to brave the stage as a Daft Punk cover band? No! It means that the firm will partner with MIT's Center for Digital Business in order to "anchor its strategy in new research in order to gain 'best practice' perspectives on the state of digital transformation in organizations around the world." Right. Here's the idea: Capgemini believes fervently that "the digital economy is entering a new age," one in which nearly (if not every) business practice has made the transformation from analog/personal to digital. According to the firm, that's had a lasting and profound impact upon business strategies across the world. Pierre-Yves Cros, Capgemini Consulting's extremely French CEO, breaks it down for us. "Digital Transformation," he says, "goes well beyond technology. It is about the impact that digitization is having on the business, from strategy to people to operations. This is also about a new transformation agenda for companies: making customer experiences coherent within the multitude of channels now available." Of course, Capgemini not only hopes to study the trend but to capitalize upon it, bringing innovative new digital practices to the forefront of its clients' models.
FTI Consulting is also back in the news, this time for some non-LECG related content. That said, LECG still provides a welcome foil for FTI's recent successes: while LECG has sold off most of its assets (half to FTI, mind you) in a desperate bid to raise cash, FTI has enough cash on hand to not only buy entire practice groups (from LECG) but also to pay more than $200 million to Goldman Sachs in order to buy back many of the shares it lost to the bank in the aftermath of its IPO. That buyout seems to be part of a concerted effort between Goldman and FTI to raise the shares' worth; just as FTI buys back Goldman's shares in the consulting firm, Goldman is heading out on the market to pick up some common FTI stock and (hopefully) raise the demand for stakes in FTI.
Lastly, SunGard made the headlines today when it announced that it had launched a brand new wealth management/risk consulting practice group. Called the Regulatory and Risk practice, the new unit operates under the banner of Wealth Management Global Services and "helps organizations analyze business practices, staff competencies, technology platforms and third party arrangements." Translation: Everyone hates regulations on business (right?), so SunGard created a division of financial consultants that specializes in finding ways around them. Oh, and they'll also help you get of debt. And save for the future. Apparently SunGard can also teach clients how to write the world's least informative press releases. Bravo, SunGard.
For more information:
Capgemini Consulting Announces Major Strategic Focus on Digital Transformation
Reuters: FTI to buy back shares from Goldman
SunGard Launches Wealth Management Regulatory and Risk Consulting Practice