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Today's news covers some waves in the IT industry, starting with the official announcement that BearingPoint will be selling its Japan business to PricewaterhouseCoopers. PwC will purchase all issued and outstanding shares of BearingPoint's subsidiary in the country, which will net BearingPoint somewhere in the range of $45 million. The sale is expected to go through by the end of April.
PwC seems to be in an excellent position to pick up BearingPoint and spread its wings a bit, having just been named by Kennedy Research as the global leader in business advisory services and management consulting. The firm also ranked PwC third in the HR consulting category. According to Kennedy's "Global Consulting Marketplace 2008-2011" report, PwC's size and potential for growth put it in a prime position to serve clients in the current recession.
Of course, market research isn't everything; the Vault prestige rankings, after all, see firms ranked in terms of perceived reputation by outside consultants—not a firm's own employees. We can't reveal the rankings just yet (those'll be coming out this summer), but here's a snippet of what some consultants are saying about PwC: "classy," "thought leaders," "workaholics," "only known for tax," "big and boring," "archaic," "starting to rebuild; long way to go," "number crunchers" and "good to see them back."
Also on the IT front, a piece in today's Journal talks about how IT companies, faced with slashed budgets across the board, are offering clients stimulus fund-related aid to keep deals flowing in. Research firm IDC notes that over $100 billion has been earmarked for IT projects, and the big guys have their eyes on it, though they'll never get the money directly—they'll have to appeal to health care providers, government bodies and schools to get a piece of the pie.
For instance, Cisco has created internal teams to find ways its products can be covered by stimulus funds, and the group is now involved in heavy marketing to get its products noticed. Oracle and Microsoft are holding seminars for their clients to advise them on how to identify applicable areas and apply for stimulus funds. And perhaps most basic of all, IBM has created a tool that allows clients to track their own stimulus fund spending. How that's different from any old accounting system beats me (Excel is really a wonderful program), but I like how IBM is sending the message, "Let's make this about you, not us." In a cash-strapped economy, these measures just highlight the distances companies will go to when there's money to be had.
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